“Budget deal shows Alaska is already reaping ranked choice’s rewards”

An op-ed from David Lublin, Glen Wright, and Benjamin Reilly in the Anchorage Daily News:

They did it. Alaska’s budget, which passed the Legislature last week, was a classic political compromise, with a smaller divided check than many would have liked but larger spending on education and other public goods the state clearly needs…

The return to normalcy was based around the resurrection of cross-party coalitions in both the Senate — the key mover in budget negotiations — and the House. Compromise came before party loyalty. In the Senate, Republicans joined with Democrats to form a strong supermajority caucus….

Party primaries in the past decade increasingly saw more extreme candidates defeat more mainstream candidates….

Our research suggests that Alaska’s new final-four election system — a single-vote primary for all voters to select up to four candidates, followed by a ranked-choice vote general election — has helped arrest these trends in Juneau and maybe even reverse them….

But it has released legislators from being hostage to the party primary while allowing more voters to influence election outcomes and giving them a greater range of choices.

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