Alaska's first ranked choice election a success

Editor’s note: This press statement was received Aug. 31, 2022.

Alaska’s Election System gave Alaskan voters more choice, voice and competition on Election Day. A near-record number of Alaskan voters participated in the Aug. 16, 2022, special election.

When surveyed after voting, 95% of Alaskans reported that they received instructions on how to rank their choices. Additionally, 85% of Alaskans reported ranked choice voting was “simple.”

Voters were given broad choice and competition between the three candidates in this special election. It was a tight three-way race where Alaskan voters were able to have more choices than a partisan battle between only two party-selected candidates.

Historically, the person with the most first choice votes wins in a ranked choice election. Ranked choice voting encourages candidates to build consensus and earn support from a broad coalition. Ranked choice voting incentivizes collaboration while disincentivizing negative campaigning.

The ranked choice voting system performed well as expected, due in large part to the historic efforts of the Division of Elections to educate voters while pulling off three distinct elections in as many months. Of the ballots cast in this race, only 6% (11,222) were exhausted (or didn’t rank a second candidate). Even better, only 0.2% (342 votes) were overvotes, or had errors rendering them unable to count. In short, Alaskans understood the new system well, voted successfully, and seized their power to choose.

Alaskan voters were prepared for their first-ever ranked choice election thanks to the incredible work of the Alaska Division of Elections and community organizations like Get Out the Native Vote, League of Women Voters, AARP Alaska, Alaska Municipal League, Sol de Medianoche, Polynesian Association of Alaska, The Alaska Center, AKPIRG and many others.

Alaskans for Better Elections is an Alaska-based nonpartisan nonprofit dedicated to providing public education and research about how Alaska-style elections work. More information at

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