The Fairbanks North Star Borough will consider an ordinance at its April 22 meeting, which looks to approve the controversial ranked choice voting system, similar to what the State of Alaska will use for the first time in the next statewide primary election in 2022.

Ranked choice voting is highly controversial and Alaskans were almost evenly split in voting to adopt the new voting method. In the last general election 50.5% of Alaskans voted to approve ranked choice voting while 49.5% rejected it.

Alaska is the only the second state to approve ranked choice voting for statewide elections.

The Fairbanks proposal would apply to all municipal elections – mayoral, Assembly and school board races. Fairbanks currently uses the traditional voting system where the candidate with the greatest number of votes wins if the candidate earns at least 40% of the vote. If not, there is a runoff between the top two vote getters.

Ranked choice voting does away with the traditional “one voter, one vote” method and instead asks voters to rank their top choices in order. If no candidate wins a majority of votes in the first round of tabulation, then the candidate with the least amount of first place votes is eliminated and the second-choice votes cast under that candidate’s name are awarded to all the other candidates who were listed as a second-choice votes. This process continues until one candidate receives a majority of votes.

Ranked choice voting has been criticized for adding unnecessary layers of complexity to the traditional voting method. Under this scheme, a candidate can win an election while not actually receiving the most first place votes.

Sponsors of the Fairbanks ordinance argue that it will save the borough money from having to fund runoff elections in tight races.


  • The April 22 meeting begins at 6 p.m. Click here to see the agenda.
  • Click here to read the ranked choice voting ordinance (No. 2021-17)
  • Click here for information on how to participate in the April 22 Assembly meeting.

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Fairbanks to debate ranked choice voting scheme for municipal elections

Joel Davidson
Joel is Editor-in-Chief of the Alaska Watchman. Joel is an award winning journalist and has been reporting for over 24 years, He is a proud father of 8 children, and lives in Palmer, Alaska.


  • Proud Alaskan says:

    How Stupid is this save money in a tight race.
    So let’s cheat and make the loser the winner is that an oxymoron
    Stop the madness

  • NorthernMegaWood says:

    Common core for voting. Did Bill Gates think this shit up?

  • Alicia Fitzpatrick says:

    We already have a low voter turn out. Making it necessary for a candidate to win by 40 percent then go through it again if they “only” win by 39 percent is ridiculous. Candidates will spend more money campaigning, less people will vote, more votes need to be counted and more room for error. Whoever has the most votes, wins. Keep it simple.

  • Elizabeth Chase says:

    Can anyone find someone who actually voted for this method of voting….. I can’t…… I would like to see the demographics of the 50.5% who actually voted for this and how it made it on the ballot

    • NorthernMegaWood says:

      I heard a local radio announcer here admit to voting for it. Surprising, I didn’t expect that! In my opinion some voters didn’t read or understand what the prop. was about. My self I lean towards fraud. [Dominion] look at the direction everything else went.

  • John J Otness says:

    All eyes should be on Maricopa County at this time so that when the dust clears from the gun battle down there where the Citizens have literally forced their Senate to do their job unlike this Senate up here that have all hidden from their OATHS except Patriot Mike Shower who has been the only beacon in this issue. An honest high tech no cheat Audit is being done where the citizens are ready with security to fight and defend their sacred vote by opening up the evil of the Chinese Communist DOMINION cheat vote machines. Once these DOMINION machines from Hell are exposed then we in Alaska see why this ballot measure was supposedly successful. Lt Gov Meyer did his part and had this treasonous machinery installed he was not alone.
    The criminal enemies of America knew that a total sweep of candidates would be too obvious so they rigged the machines to just slightly win along with some key leftist positions that they needed to maintain…. All votes were counted in foreign countries and the whole election was live on the internet viewed by our enemies Its all coming out and it will arrest and convict for treason those involved…… They will regret their greed.

    • NorthernMegaWood says:

      Thank you JJ, for being awake and explaining in a concise manner what is going on.

    • EscapedAnchorage says:

      I’ve been asking the Lt. Gov, the Gov and the (previous) AG to do a forensic audit of the Nov election since late Nov 2020; asked the Gov again after the MOA debacle with Muni stopping count on the first day. The only one to respond was the Lt. Gov(‘s staffer), I got the most BS reason saying it’ll cost too much….okay Diane(that was the name of the lady who responded), sure, meanwhile your okay with the lack of election integrity. John’s right, there’s something fishy about the Lt. Gov going along with the Dominion machines.

      I will never believe Prop 2 passed legitly. It was crashing and burning in election night and it passes by the time “all the ballots were in” with no need for witness signatures (thx AK supreme court). At the very least, the ballots with no witness signatures should be discarded, they are illegal under current election laws and the courts aren’t allowed to make laws, period full stop. The courts job is to interpret laws.