Sen. Tom Cotton’s Gripe About Election ‘Scam’ Spectacularly Backfires

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

Ranked-choice voting was approved by Alaska voters in 2020. In a ranked-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 removed 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 tabulations in the second.

Along with calling it a “scam,” Cotton said:

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

His critics also noted something else about Cotton’s complaint: It could just as easily 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.