The New Free-For-All Ballot For Don Young's Seat: It's All Greek

 If You Feel The New Ballot Is All Greek To You, There's A Very Good Reason. It IS Kind Of "All Greek" Alaska is about to emba...

 If You Feel The New Ballot Is All Greek To You, There's A Very Good Reason. It IS Kind Of "All Greek"


Alaska is about to embark on an interesting and possibly chaotic means of choosing its next U.S. Congressperson, who will, if the past is any indication, possibly serve for life. 
 
Voters in our state have been mailed a bewilderingly long ballot for the June 11th Special Primary Election for Don Young's sole Congressional seat. It's a profoundly important role, and the ballot itself is important in its enormous difference from the "usual" way Alaskans vote. 
 

Alaskans have never seen a ballot like this. The ballot itself is an alphabetically listed rundown of 48 potential candidates.

Some of them have nationally known names, like Santa Claus and Sarah Palin... Some of the candidates are local to very small communities, and totally unknown to the general public. Some of them are former candidates in various races that they didn't win. Some benefit from their well known Alaskan family names -- such as Nick Begich and John Coghill.

It's a bewildering mishmash of possibilities: nonpartisans, registered Republicans, undeclared candidates, registered Libertarian, registered Alaska Independent, registered Democrats. 

As voters, we will only be allowed one vote. The top four candidates will then be up for grabs again in another election on August 16th. 
 
It's All Greek
Alaska is about to undergo an amazing experiment in "democracy" which, by happenstance, follows in some ways the means by which the Greeks chose their leaders: chance. 

The Greeks of Athens chose their officials by lottery. This was called "sortition". Officials were selected at random, from a larger number of residents. The Greeks did this all the time – plucking ordinary people out of the general population to run the show. 
 
There were several limits to the Greek system, though. 
Greek candidates had to be men, and they could not come from a family that would be now classed as "immigrant", no matter how far back. 

In America, that would mean that somebody like Lisa Murkowski could not be a U.S. Senator, under the Greek system. First, because she is a woman, and second because her ancestors were Polish.



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