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Governor signs bill banning ranked-choice voting

On Friday, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey (R) signed legislation to ban ranked-choice voting in the state of Alabama.

Senate Bill 186 (SB186) was sponsored by Senator Arthur Orr (R-Decatur). It was carried in the House of Representatives by Rep. Mark Shirey (R-Mobile).

SB186 prohibits the practice of ranked-choice voting in Alabama except in the case of electors who are entitled to vote absentee ballot under the federal Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act.

"I am proud to sign this bill which takes another step towards ensuring the confidence in our elections," said Ivey. "As our Secretary of State Wes Allen put it, ranked-choice voting makes winners out of losers. Not only is ranked-choice voting confusing to voters, it also limits their ability to directly elect the candidate of their choice. Voting should be simple, and this complicated and confusing method of voting has no place in Alabama's elections."

"Ranked choice voting is a flawed system in which voters must assign a numerical "rank" to each candidate," said Secretary Allen. "If no candidate wins a majority outright, the candidate with the least amount of first preference votes is eliminated and the votes are automatically redistributed among the remaining candidates. This process may be repeated until one candidate is assigned a majority of votes. Ranked choice voting is banned in five states with several more taking up this issue in legislative sessions around the country."

Alaska uses ranked choice voting and the results can be very unpredictable.

Alabama already did not use ranked choice voting.

The 2024 legislative session ended on Thursday at the close of the 30th Legislative day. The Alabama Constitution limits the Legislature to a maximum of 30 days in a regular session. Barring being called into a special session, the Legislature will not return until 2025.

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