ANCHORAGE, AK – On August 10th, Project Veritas released a video showing one of their reporters, R.C. Maxwell, confronting Sen. Lisa Murkowski over her allegedly secretive support of Ballot Measure 2, a 2020 bill that ushered in ranked-choice voting in Alaska that staffers of Sen. Murkowski claimed was pushed forward to aid in her reelection efforts.
According to Alaska’s official election information webpage, voters approved to implement a ranked-choice voting system in 2020 that would be implemented in all general elections in the state moving forward.
For those unfamiliar with what ranked-choice voting is, Alaska’s election information webpage details the process in an FAQ that reads as follows:
“How does Ranked Choice Voting work?
In each race, voters will rank their choices in order of preference. Votes are counted in rounds.
The Division counts all 1st choices. If a candidate gets 50% + 1 vote in round one, that candidate wins, and the counting stops. If not, counting goes to Round Two.
“Round Two (and beyond):
The candidate with the fewest votes gets eliminated. If you voted for that candidate, your vote goes to your next choice, and you still have a say in who wins. If your first-choice candidate was not eliminated, your vote stays with them. Votes are counted again. This keeps happening in rounds until two candidates are left, and the one with the most votes wins.”
As evidenced by the explanation of the process, ranked-choice voting as conducted in Alaska can rob the most widely supported candidate (in terms of obtaining the majority of number-one votes among all candidates) if they’re not harboring over 50% of all the number-one votes cast. And if someone’s number-one pick garnered the least of all number-one votes, their first pick is eliminated, and their number-two spot gets that person’s vote by default.
Hans von Spakovsky and J. Adams described the process of ranked-choice voting best back in a 2019 report aptly dubbed, “Ranked Choice Voting Is a Bad Choice,” where the authors compared ranked-choice voting to shopping for a preferred steak sauce at the grocery store.
“You know nothing about the generic brand, so you rank it last among your choices, while A1 is ranked a distant third. In your mind, it comes down to Heinz or HP, and you choose the Heinz.”
But when this consumer hits the checkout counter, the realities of ranked-choice kick into effect, where “the cashier swaps out your bottle of Heinz 57 with the cheap generic you ranked dead last,” because while numerous other consumers down-voted that same generic brand, “there was no clear front-runner, so the generic snuck up from behind with enough down-ballot picks to win. In fact, in this ranked choice supermarket, you might even have helped the lousy generic brand win.”
And Project Veritas uncovered through their recent undercover journalism that Sen. Murkowski had helped breathe life into this very system.
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In the newly-released video from Project Veritas, it shows Josiah Nash, who works as Sen. Murkowski’s campaign interior coordinator, admitting that while Sen. Murkowski feigned being neutral on the topic of ranked-choice voting, she was secretly supportive of the measure.
“She stayed quiet, and honestly, it was probably best she stayed quiet on that…You’re not going to see the campaign come out and necessarily support progressive things. I mean, behind closed doors we’ll have talks…We’re being strategic with our messaging. Walking a fine line, I guess, is what I’m saying, to try to get her elected.”
Other Sen. Murkowski staffers were caught on camera admitting to similar efforts and how ranked-choice voting ultimately behooved Murkowski’s campaign, which Project Veritas reporter R.C. Maxwell showed to Sen. Murkowski when confronting her. However, all Sen. Murkowski would admit to was that Alaska’s voters approved Ballot Measure 2 back in 2020.