This Primer provides an overview of the debate surrounding non-partisan ranked primaries. In the November 2020 election, Alaskan voters decided whether to adopt Ballot Measure 2 which, among other reforms, would introduce a top-four primary system. Under this system, the top-four vote-getters in the primary election, regardless of partisan affiliation, would advance to the general election. Supporters of the reform argue it offers voters more choices, fosters competition, creates a more representative pool of candidates, and avoids vote splitting. Opponents contend that such a system reduces representation by possibly preventing political parties from participating in general elections. Alaska will not be the first state to adopt a top-rank primary system; the debate over Ballot Measure 2 is just another chapter in the historical dialogue over voting reform.
Brendan McGuire, The Top-Four Primary and Alaska Ballot Measure 2, 37 Alaska Law Review 309-314 (2020)
Available at: https://scholarship.law.duke.edu/alr/vol37/iss2/10