Ranked-choice voting: What is it? Should all states adopt it?
Should all states adopt ranked-choice voting?
By Josh Herman, Countable News
What is ranked-choice voting (RCV)?
- Also known as “instant run-off voting,” this electoral system allows voters to rank candidates, in order of preference, when marking their ballots. Voters can select as many – or as few – candidates as they wish.
- If no candidate receives the majority of votes, the candidate with the fewest votes is eliminated. Voters who had selected the defeated candidate as their first choice will now have their ballots counted for their second choice. The process continues until one candidate has a clear majority and is declared the winner.
- For example, if RCV was used during the 2016 presidential election, voters could have selected Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson as their first choice and Donald Trump as their second choice. Once Johnson didn’t receive enough votes to be elected, their vote would have been counted for Trump.
What are people saying?
- “You’ve got to be, I think, a better candidate,” said FairVote President Rob Richie.
“You as a candidate have a lot more reasons to have conversations and engagements with people. The candidates that run traditional campaigns that involve using money and not using people have not done as well.”
The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, published a report in August 2019 deriding the practice, arguing it obscures voter's choices and individual voting rights:
"It also disenfranchises voters, because ballots that do not include the two ultimate finalists are cast aside to manufacture a faux majority for the winner. In the end, a voter’s ballot might wind up being cast for the candidate he ranked far below his first choice — a candidate to whom he may have strong political objections and for whom he would not vote in a traditional voting system."
What do you think?
Would you like to see ranked-choice voting appear on all ballots? Should it only be used for state elections? Or certain offices? Take action above and tell your reps, then share your thoughts below.
(Photo Credit: FairVote.org)
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