For Immediate Release: November 4, 2022

Media Contacts:
Jeannette Lee, Senior Researcher and Alaska Lead, @JLee907

ANCHORAGE, AK – Alaskans this year had a larger, more diverse, and competitive statewide candidate pool to vote on, coinciding with the introduction of the state’s new election system using open primaries and ranked choice voting. That’s according to new analysis from Sightline Institute, which compared candidate pools for US Senate, US House, governor, and lieutenant governor across seven primary elections from 2010 to 2022. Researchers Jeannette Lee and Jay Lee found that in 2022:

  • More candidates identified as Independent and third-party.
  • More Alaskans ran for office overall.
  • No statewide primaries involved just one candidate, so all were competitive.
  • More women ran for office.

“This is good news not just for Alaskans, but for American voters who want true choice, beyond politics that are polarizing and binary,” said Jeannette Lee, Anchorage-based senior researcher and Alaska lead for Sightline. “We’re hoping this early analysis sparks additional research into how Alaska’s system of open primaries and ranked choice voting may have leveled the playing field for a multitude of candidates with an assortment of views and backgrounds to run.”

Read the full analysis at

About the Author:
Jeannette Lee, Sightline Institute’s senior researcher and Alaska lead, focuses on democracy and housing issues from Sightline’s office in Anchorage, Alaska. Prior to Sightline, she served as a consultant at the Adaptation Fund and United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, a federal natural gas researcher, and a journalist for The Associated Press in Alaska and Hawai`i and Atlantic Media Company in Washington, DC. Find her research here.

About Sightline Institute: Sightline Institute is an independent, nonprofit think tank providing leading original analysis of housing, democracy, and energy policy in the Pacific Northwest and beyond.

November 7, 2022