Senator Tom Cotton’s complaint about election ‘scam’ backfires in spectacular fashion

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) found himself tendency on Twitter for all the wrong reasons on Wednesday night after complaining about the results of a special election thousands of miles from his home.

Preferential-choice voting was endorsed by voters in Alaska in 2020. In a preferential-choice election, voters rank their candidates. If no candidate wins a majority of first-place votes—as happened in this case—the candidate who finished last is dropped and their votes go to each voter’s second choice.

Peltola won a plurality in the first round, then an outright majority after the ranked choice boards in the second.

Besides calling it a “scam”, Cotton said:

Cotton’s critics were quick to point out that 60% of Alaskan voters may have chosen a Republican, but they didn’t choose the same Republican. And many were so unhappy with Palin that they were willing to accept a Democrat instead.

Critics also noted something else about Cotton’s complaint: It could just as well apply to the Electoral College system, which disenfranchises voters and in 2000 and 2016 allowed a Republican presidential candidate to win despite receiving fewer votes than the Democratic candidate.

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