ALEC Policy Champions Safeguard American Votes in Five States

It is my profound privilege to congratulate ALEC’s latest Policy Champions for their successful efforts to safeguard American votes and elections by prohibiting ranked choice voting (RCV) in their states: Alabama Senator Arthur Orr, Alabama Representative Mark Shirey, Kentucky Representative John Hodgson, Kentucky Senator Lindsey Tichenor, Louisiana Senator Blake Miguez, Mississippi Senator Jeremy England, Oklahoma Senator Brent Howard and Oklahoma Representative Eric Roberts.

Members of ALEC’s Federalism and International Relations Task Force adopted the model Safeguard American Votes and Elections Act (SAVE Act) in summer 2023, and we have watched with great interest as states not only rejected RCV initiatives but took the extra step to ban RCV outright.

RCV is promoted as a solution to perceived difficulties with voting in the US; however, it is more likely to exacerbate rather than mitigate elections problems in part because it is complicated. Voters are tasked with ranking multiple candidates instead of voting for a single person. This requires more time to research everyone running for office and to complete the lengthier RCV ballot.

If only one candidate is selected and that candidate does not win a simple majority of the votes, the ballot is discarded, effectively disenfranchising voters in subsequent ballot counts. RCV’s complexity causes more voter error, leading to electoral results that less accurately reflect voter sentiment.

RCV is also expensive to implement. However, the most compelling argument against it is that RCV compromises election transparency reducing public trust in the electoral process. Machines tabulate RCV votes, and the system’s intricacy often leads to reporting delays which stoke suspicions about the results. Paper recounts and other traditional auditing measures are not feasible within the RCV construct, eroding voter confidence further still.

In 2024, an unprecedented five states have enacted laws prohibiting RCV. The sponsors, ALEC Policy Champions, are united by a desire to keep the election process in their states comprehensible, transparent, and affordable, although each state followed a unique path to adoption.


Senator Arthur Orr introduced Alabama’s SB 186, which prohibits the use of any ranked choice voting method in elections except for electors who vote by absentee ballot pursuant to the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act. Representative Mark Shirey was the sponsor for the legislation in the Alabama House.

The measure passed convincingly in both legislative chambers and was signed into law by Governor Kay Ivey on May 10 and takes effect on October 1, 2024.

Gov. Ivey commented that she was “proud to sign this bill which takes another step towards ensuring the confidence in our elections … Not only is ranked-choice voting confusing to voters, it also limits their ability to directly elect the candidate of their choice.”

Alabama Secretary of State Wes Allen offered that, “Ranked choice voting makes winners out of losers by redistributing votes to losing candidates until one candidate is assigned a majority of the votes.”


Sponsored by Kentucky Representative John Hodgson and carried in the Senate by Kentucky Senator Lindsey Tichenor, HB 44 had a rockier road toward enactment.

Adopted with overwhelming majorities in both of Kentucky’s legislative chambers, Governor Beshear vetoed the bill, although an unrelated provision in the legislation on death records was the stated rationale for his opposition. His veto was overridden, and the legislation was delivered to Kentucky’s Secretary of State on April 12, 2024.

Addressing several elections issues, HB 44 stipulates that, “A ranked-choice voting method that allows electors to rank candidates for an office in order of preference and has ballots cast to be tabulated in multiple rounds following the elimination of a candidate until a single candidate attains a majority shall not be used in determining the election or nomination of any candidate to any local, state, or federal elective office in this state.”

HB 44 also prohibits local governments from adopting policies that conflict with the state’s ranked choice voting prohibition.


Senator Blake Miguez of Louisiana’s 22nd State Senate District introduced SB 101 on March 11, and Louisiana became the latest state to prohibit RCV. Winning strong majorities in both the Louisiana Senate and House, SB 101 defines ranked-choice voting and instant runoff voting, prohibiting both except with respect to the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act. SB 101 became effective immediately upon Governor Jeff Landry’s signature on May 28.

Senator Miguez noted that, “With the passage of [SB 101] voters in Louisiana can rest assured that we will not abandon our one American citizen, one vote elections. This is America! No one should ever be forced to vote for candidates that do not align with their political views just to have their ballots counted.”


Sponsored by Senator Jeremy England, Mississippi’s SB 2144 prohibits ranked-choice voting in statewide, county, local, municipal or school district elections. Passed with large majorities in both of Mississippi’s legislative chambers, SB 2144 was signed by Governor Tate Reeves on May 13, 2024, making Mississippi the fourth state this year and ninth state overall to ban ranked choice voting.

Senator England observed that, “By banning Rank Choice Voting, the Mississippi legislature has not only further strengthened the integrity of our elections, but we have also shown our dedication to making sure every vote counts in Mississippi. In addition, we have ensured that our process will allow full participation of the voters until a candidate for office is duly elected.”


State Senator Brent Howard (OK Senate District 38) and Representative Eric Roberts (OK House District 83) sponsored Oklahoma’s HB 3156 which prohibits the use of ranked choice voting. Governor Kevin Stitt signed HB 3156 on April 29, 2024, announcing on that, “Ranked-choice voting would be a disaster for Oklahoma just like it is in other states.” This bill takes effect 90 days after sine die.

Senator Howard remarked that “HB 3156 would “make sure that every person’s vote counts, that there’s uniformity across the state.”

Voters to Decide in Missouri

Instead of enacting legislative prohibitions on ranked choice voting, some states are putting the matter directly to the voters. Missouri Senator Ben Brown sponsored SJR 78, a proposed constitutional amendment that, if adopted in November, would entitle Missouri voters to only one vote per office. SJR 78 holds that, “Under no circumstance shall a voter be permitted to cast a ballot in a manner that results in the ranking of candidates for a particular office.”

With Alaska and Maine, the only two states that have implemented ranked choice voting measures, it appears that Trent England of the Stop RCV Coalition is correct that more states seem to be banning RCV than adopting it.

In 2024, an unprecedented five states have protected voters and elections by enacted laws prohibiting RCV. The sponsors, ALEC Policy Champions, are united by a desire to keep the election process in their states comprehensible, transparent, and affordable, although each state followed a unique path to adoption. Congratulations to our Policy Champions who are protecting their states from a misguided policy that has the potential to sow mistrust in the electoral process.

In Depth: Federalism

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