Recording of Webinar on Alaska’s Ranked Choice Voting

Now available on the Election Law at Ohio State website. Well worth watching for those unavailable to see it live. Among the many interesting and informative points discussed by the panel was the fact that the candidate who won the election based on Alaska’s new “instant runoff voting” is not the candidate who, based on all the ranked preferences on the ballots cast, would have beaten every other candidate one-on-one—in technical term, the Condorcet Winner.

In this Alaska special election, the Condorcet Winner was Nick Begich, one of the two Republicans on the ranked-choice ballot (the other being Sarah Palin). Mary Peltola, the Democrat, was the instant runoff winner. This divergence is an example of the issue addressed in my previous work on “round-robin voting,” which asks whether other states contemplating the adoption of Ranked Choice Voting should consider the possibility of a Condorcet-compliant version rather than IRV.

I expect that Alaska’s experience with this special election will prompt further examination of this issue, and the webinar is a valuable contribution to that conversation.

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