Ranked Choice Voting Chaos Proposed for Arizona

VIA SBINSIDER | March 2nd, 2024

Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) has been touted as the means for voters who are not ideologically committed to a conservative or progressive political viewpoint, to overcome the “extremes” that are nominated via on a purely party basis. That is, more middle-of-they road voters would chose the candidates from a primary race for the general election.

It has not worked. People who align with a party are the folks who are committed to the process and pay close attention to what the candidates claim as their stance on issues. They are deeply informed and passionate voters and know what they want in public policy. Generally, conservative and progressive candidates when elected, do in fact, stick to their positions for the most part. The middle-of-road candidates if elected, are totally unpredictable as to where they will vote on a particular issue. And some of course, are complete phonies. Senators Angus King and Bernie Sanders claim to be “independents” as candidates but their voting records are not distinguishable from the Democrat majority in the Senate.

The most prominent advocate for Ranked Choice in Arizona is Chuck Coughlin, a spokesman for Make Elections Fair Act. Coughlin was Chief of Staff for Governor Jan Brewer and is now a well-paid lobbyist who detested the conservatives in the GOP legislature. Coughlin’s revenge is to get RCV on the ballot this November which he believes if passed, reduce the number of right-wing extremists elected to the Arizona State Legislature.

The most common RCV works this way:

In instant-runoff voting, if a candidate wins a majority of first-preference votes, he or she is declared the winner. If no candidate wins a majority of first-preference votes, the candidate with the fewest first-preference votes is eliminated. Ballots that ranked a failed candidate as their first, or highest choice, depending on the round, are then reevaluated and counted as first-preference ballots for the next highest ranked candidate in that round. A new tally is conducted to determine whether any candidate has won a majority ballots. The process is repeated until a candidate wins an outright majority. Elements of this process, such as the number of candidates eliminated in each round, may vary by jurisdiction.[

The results can be surprising. It is possible to be the 3rd or 4th choice after the initial round of voting and by process of recalculations of the tally, become the winner of the election. In the two states (Alaska and Maine) that enacted this system, the voters are this year likely to repeal it as both conservatives and progressives are not happy with outcomes.

Ballot measure petitions are being circulated to voters to gain access to the November ballot. For more on the supporters click here. 

SaddleBrooke Republican Club Meeting on RCV


Tex Polesky, spokesman for Turning Point came to the February meeting and demolished the arguments for RCV.  He answered questions from the audience and explained in detail how the competing ballot measures would work if passed.

The Arizona Republicans are against this system and are urging party members not to sign the petition.

Per Kathleen Dunbar, President of the SaddleBrooke Republican club:

Ranked Choice voting sounds good when discussed but it does not work.  Elections can take weeks to determine the winner. To follow the paper trail is almost impossible.  For example, if there are 8 candidates and the voter only ranks 6, their ballot is thrown out. You have to rank every candidate in the race.   The one man one vote principle is completely done away with.  Just ask anyone in Alaska (where they are voting to remove the system this year) how it worked out for their state.

Kathleen Dunbar

Notify of
1 Comment
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Robert Bulakowski
1 month ago

Just another form of screwing the electorate. Votes are meaningless.