Independent coverage of important political campaigns and elections throughout the United States; Congressional, Presidential, State, and Local. Find out how certain elections affect people from an independent-minded perspective.

Early voting for the August 16 primaries and special election to fill Alaska’s vacant congressional seat has begun. This means that for the first time Alaskans will use ranked choice voting and will vote in a nonpartisan top-four primary at the same time.

The special election is to fill the late Don Young’s seat in the US House for the remainder of the current term. RCV will be used to determine who is the preferred choice among a majority of voters in the three-person race between Democrat Mary Peltola and Republicans Sarah Palin and Nicholas Begich.

Can the partisan primary elections process be considered truly democratic? Not only do these elections often deny voters meaningful participation (if they are allowed to participate at all), but oftentimes the elections are decided by minority rule.

New analysis from the nonpartisan better elections group FairVote found that the winners of 55 statewide congressional and statewide primaries in 2022 so far garnered less than 50 percent of the vote. Nineteen of these elections were decided by less than a third of voters.

Increasing polarization is raising concerns over the integrity of elections. Voters find themselves election after election faced with the question: Should elected officials loyal to their party call the balls and strikes for their own team in elections?

Washington independent secretary of state candidate Julie Anderson believes that election administration should be nonpartisan, both in nature and name.

Ranked choice voting (RCV) is on a roll. Advocates have added win after win at the ballot box across the US. When the voting method is put to a vote, citizens tend to overwhelmingly show support for its use.

RCV allows voters to rank candidates in order of preference. The method of RCV broadly used in the US is called instant runoff voting, which uses an automatic runoff system based off voters' preferences if no candidate gets over 50% of first choice selections without the added expense of a separate runoff election.

Editor's Note: The pieces below feature two sides to the debate on term limits from John Aldrich, Spencer Reynolds, and Laura Del Savio. These perspectives originally published on Divided We Fall and have been republished on IVN with permission from the publisher.

Will a Multi-Party System Save American Democracy? Very Unlikely. But Can a Centrist Party?

By John Aldrich – Pfizer-Pratt University Professor of Political Science, Duke University

In most of the country independent voters, despite their growing numbers, are marginalized by closed partisan primary systems in which the winners are virtually pre-determined in low turnout primaries -- before independent voters can weigh in. 

Not so in California, where a decade-old non-partisan primary system lets all voters, including independents, vote in an open primary that advances the top two vote getters to the General Election, regardless of party.