‘Out-of-State Billionaires’ Funding Ranked-Choice Voting Campaign in Alaska

The view of water transportation and Juneau downtown skyline (Alaska).
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Fundraising reports reveal that pro-ranked choice voting group Yes on 2 for Better Elections is funded primarily by “out-of-state billionaires.”

On November 3, Alaskans will vote on Ballot Measure 2, which would force Alaskans to vote for their political leaders on so-called “ranked-choice voting” or RCV. Voters using RCV would assign a numerical rank to multiple candidates rather than voting for their preferred candidate.

Defend Alaska Elections, which opposes ranked-choice voting, contended that this might appear fairer; however, ranked-choice voting often results in the winner of the election receiving less than a majority of the votes cast.

This week Defend Alaska Elections announced that they had surpassed the pro-ranked choice voting group’s fundraising in less than two months of fundraising.

The latest fundraising figures found that the anti-ranked choice campaign had collected 336 donations from Alaskans. The Yes campaign only collected 296 donations from Alaskans since they started campaigning in July 2019.

The latest fundraising numbers reveal that the Yes on 2 for Better Elections had raised $6,194,081 from outside Alaska and had only raised $20,000 from inside the state.

In contrast, Defend Alaska Elections raised $323,542 from Alaska and $141,583 from out-of-state.

Brett Huber, the campaign manager for Defend Alaska Elections, said in a statement this week that they will continue to fight dark money’s influence in Alaska’s elections. Huber said:

With just $20,000 in Alaskan donations, in-state backers of Ballot Measure 2 represent a miniscule 0.3 percent of the Yes campaign’s dark-money haul — little more than a rounding error for the political operatives hired by out-of-state billionaires to promote Ballot Measure 2. In less than two months, Alaskans stepping up to defend our fair and transparent elections against Outside dark money have donated more than 15 times this amount.

Huber added, “While we remain outgunned by billionaires from New York and California and millions in out-of-state dark money, our donors have something the Outside billionaires don’t: the right to vote in Alaska.”

Former Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell (R) and former Alaska Sen. Mark Begich (D) wrote in an op-ed in July that ranked-choice voting would harm Alaska’s elections.

“As former elected officials from different parties, we’ve had our share of disagreements,” the former lawmakers wrote. “But we are united in our belief that the Better Elections initiative would be bad for our state. Alaskans shouldn’t have to doubt that their votes count.”

Sean Moran is a congressional reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.


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