MONTGOMERY — Governor Kay Ivey signed Senate Bill 186, sponsored by State Sen. Arthur Orr (R-Decatur), to protect the integrity of Alabama elections by banning the use of ranked-choice voting on Friday.

Instead of being able to vote for a single candidate, ranked-choice voting offers voters a choice of candidates to rank in order of preference. Candidates who receive 50% or more votes win automatically. However, if no candidate garners at least 50% of the votes cast, then the lowest-scoring candidate is eliminated, and their votes are assigned to the other candidates. The process continues automatically until a single candidate reaches 50%.

The new law prohibits the practice of ranked-choice voting in Alabama except in the case of electors who are entitled to vote absentee ballot under the federal Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act.

“I am proud to sign this bill which takes another step towards ensuring the confidence in our elections. As our Secretary of State Wes Allen put it, ranked-choice voting makes winners out of losers. Not only is ranked-choice voting confusing to voters, it also limits their ability to directly elect the candidate of their choice. Voting should be simple, and this complicated and confusing method of voting has no place in Alabama’s elections,” Ivey said.

The law will take effect October 1.

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