Voices of the Peninsula: Voters claim power with ‘yes’ on 2

Ballot Measure 2 does three main things that give the voter more power.

  • Sunday, November 1, 2020 12:14am
  • Opinion
Nikiski resident Jesse Bjorkman represents Nikiski in the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly. (Photo courtesy Jesse Bjorkman)

Nikiski resident Jesse Bjorkman represents Nikiski in the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly. (Photo courtesy Jesse Bjorkman)

It is time for Alaskans to declare that elections are for the people, not special interests or political parties. Ballot Measure 2 allows voters to claim their power. That is why I am speaking out in support of Ballot Measure number 2 and I urge you to vote “yes” on 2 as well.

Ballot Measure 2 does three main things that give the voter more power. First, it opens primaries to all voters and moves the top four vote-getters to the general election. Each cycle many voters are barred from voting for people they agree with in the primary. Under Ballot Measure 2, we all can vote for the candidate of our choice. Second, it allows voters to rank their preferences in the general election. This will allow people to vote for their true preference and not be forced into a binary decision. Finally, Ballot Measure 2 will identify the source of financial contributions to candidates. Wouldn’t you like to know if George Soros or the Koch Brothers were funding a candidate?

When the establishment’s best argument against Ballot Measure 2 is that Alaskans cannot understand a simple concept like counting to four, we know we are headed in the right direction. I know that you, the voters, are smart and know how to choose your preferences. The “No on 2” crowd wants you to believe that you can’t be responsible to research multiple candidates and make your preferences known for up to four candidates. I trust that you can and will vote effectively.

With ranked-choice voting you will have the ability to vote your conscience, have more options, and be less likely to feel forced into picking the lesser of two evils. Under a ranked-choice voting system all votes count, and whoever wins with over 50% is elected. A candidate cannot be elected with less than 50%. You, the voter, pick the winner, not a special interest in a backroom.

The “No on 2” crowd is terrified of the will of the voters because of what people may choose with more options on the table. The establishment and special interests have been decrying this measure because it challenges their special interest influence and gives that power to voters. Groups like Planned Parenthood, unions, political party bosses and other political insiders want to keep their power and influence and want to minimize the power of your vote. Voting “yes” on 2 can help to put the power where it belongs, in the hands of the voters.

Some have claimed Ballot Measure 2 is a leftist or right-wing ploy. Since both the Democratic Party and the right-wing out-of-state “Club for Growth” have come out against this measure, nothing could be further from the truth. We need common-sense voters like you to claim their power.

The current system entrenches factions which look out for themselves instead of all Alaskans. We can be better.

Please vote “yes” on 2 on Nov. 3.

Jesse J Bjorkman currently serves as a member of the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly representing Nikiski.

• By Jesse J Bjorkman

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