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Ranked Choice Voting ordinance defeated in Borough Assembly

Published: Apr. 30, 2021 at 6:18 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - The Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly met last (thur) night to continue discussion about ranked-choice voting in borough elections.

Ranked choice voting involves voters selecting a first choice on their ballots, and then ranking every other candidate in descending order.

The candidate with the fewest first place votes in the first tally is eliminated, and their ballots assigned to the voters’ second-place choice.

This process continues with each tally until a candidate receives a majority of the votes.

Protestors gathered outside the Juanita Helms Administration Center to oppose the controversial ordinance.

After sponsors Matt Cooper and Leah Berman Williams withdrew their support, the ordinance was defeated in a vote of 7 to 1.

In explaining her decision, Williams cited misinformation in the borough regarding the issue. She also decried the uncivil nature of some of the comments she received from the community.

“The voters of the borough are, many of them are severely misinformed about what ranked choice voting is, and how it works, and since we are implementing ranked choice voting at the state level in the November ’22 election, I have regretfully decided that it would be better to wait at the borough level to implement ranked choice voting,” Williams said.

Liz Lyke constituted the only ‘yes’ vote, and Marna Sanford was excused from the meeting.

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