As a member-driven organization, AMAC Action takes its marching orders directly from the membership. That means AMAC members set the legislative priorities and AMAC Action, as the advocacy affiliate of AMAC, sets out to execute these priorities in Washington, DC, state legislatures, and in communities throughout America via our network of Delegates and Chapters.
We’re all aware of the results of the 2020 election which thrust AMAC Action into the election integrity arena as requested by the membership. Election integrity comprises many initiatives including, voter ID, cleaning up voter rolls, disallowing illegal immigrants the right to vote, prohibiting third-party money from infiltrating local elections to influence outcomes, stopping federal election takeover attempts, requiring post-election audits, protecting vulnerable voters, staffing poll observers and election workers, and the list goes on.
One way the Left is pushing to rig elections to favor their candidates is through a process known as ranked-choice voting (RCV). Under the RCV scheme, voters rank several candidates in order of preference instead of just voting for their chosen candidate. The candidate with more than 50 percent of first place votes wins the election. However, if no one initially garners a majority of votes, those with the fewest votes are eliminated. The process repeats as votes are tallied for the second-place candidate, third place-place candidate, etc. until one candidate receives a majority of the remaining votes and is declared the “winner”.
Sound confusing? That’s because it is. Ranked-choice voting turns winners into losers and complicates voting. It could discourage election turnout and makes tabulating votes laborious and unclear. It’s a process that is less transparent, more partisan, and completely unnecessary.
It’s no surprise that AMAC Action has been involved with RCV initiatives, either supporting legislation that outlaws it or opposing legislation that would allow it, in state legislatures throughout the country. One state that has been persistent in its pursuit of ranked-choice voting is Illinois. The state house there has been attempting to move forward with legislation that would allow ranked-choice voting for presidential primaries as well as elections for Illinois’ Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, Secretary of State, Comptroller, and Treasurer.
AMAC Action, working as a member of a local and national coalition to stop RCV from advancing in Illinois, engaged AMAC’s nearly 75,000 members there to contact the state House of Representatives telling it not to support these ranked-choice voting measures. Three campaigns were directed to these members and the response underscores why conservative citizen advocacy matters and is so impactful. Over 3,570 Illinois AMAC members responded to our calls-to-action and left an astounding 176,600-plus messages for Illinois House of Representative members. In one campaign, AMAC members sent over 1,450 messages to each individual state house representative.
The efforts by AMAC members were the talk of Springfield and coalition member Andy Bakker, who is the Field Director for the Illinois Opportunity Project and who also testified in opposition to RCV at a recent subject matter hearing, said he “took some heat” from Illinois House members because they couldn’t believe the volume of emails generated by these campaigns. Mr. Bakker wore that feedback as a badge of honor and a compliment to AMAC members’ part in this collaborative effort to beat back ranked-choice voting.
So, what happened after these campaigns and Mr. Bakker’s testimony? The collective voice of AMAC members in Illinois was heard and along with other coalition efforts, the momentum has been stopped as no action was taken to advance ranked-choice voting – for now. There could be more hearings and the coalition will be monitoring any activity until the Illinois legislative session ends in May.
It’s important to note that conservative citizen advocacy is the catalyst that is driving the opposition to ranked-choice voting in Illinois. In addition to AMAC members’ response, the coalition produced thousands of witness slips opposing RCV, which were completed by grassroots activists, that also contributed to the recent inactivity on these terrible bills.
Be encouraged and engage in these issues when you can. An email here, a telephone call there, mobilizes the voice of conservatives on key issues. The experience in a heavily Democrat state like Illinois demonstrates that your voice can be heard – and heeded.
Andy Bakker sums it up best when he says, “Grassroots engagement remains the most effective way to make policy changes. We are proud to have AMAC Action as a coalition partner working against these radical changes to our election system and look forward to continuing in the fight alongside AMAC members”.
Andrew Mangione is Senior Vice President of AMAC Action, a 501(c)(4) nonprofit conservative advocacy organization, created to serve as the advocacy affiliate of the Association of Mature American Citizens (AMAC). He also serves an AMAC national spokesperson.
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