The only thing that would make the election better for everyone
Tired of the onslaught of negative political ads that air on your TV every election season?
Fear mongering. Half-truths.
Believe it or not, there is a simple fix we can make to make elections more bearable for voters.
It’s called Ranked Choice Voting, or RCV, and it could change our politics for the better.
When you head to the polls under the Vote Choice category, instead of voting for just one candidate, you have the option to rank the candidates in order of preference: first, second, third, and so on.
So if you are stuck between two favorite candidates for a position, you can distribute your preferences in the hope that one of them will win.
When the votes are counted, if none of the candidates receives an absolute majority, the candidate with the fewest votes is eliminated, and their votes are redistributed to the second-choice candidate for their supporters.
This process continues until the candidate receives more than 50% of the votes, and is declared the winner.
It’s also good for a whole host of other reasons.
The RCV app could have the added benefit of making our elections… well… prettier.
In a system of ranked choice voting, candidates are less likely to engage in the kind of smearing we see every election season, because not only are they trying to be a voter’s first choice — they also want to be a voter’s second choice. support their opponents.
This can motivate anyone running for office to be more inclusive and appeal to a broader group of voters – helping to connect people who don’t always agree on every issue.
The RCV also allows us to exercise our right to vote without feeling like we are compromising our beliefs or simply voting for the “lesser of two evils”. We can vote for the candidates we like the most, instead of voting against the candidates we like the least. RCV can also open the door for voters to cast ballots for more third-party candidates.
Even if your favorite candidate from your party of choice isn’t favored to win, that person may still be your first choice — without making you feel like you’re giving away your entire vote. If your candidate does not make it to the final round, you may end up with your second or third choice winning the final tally.
Ranked choice voting can change the kinds of people who run for office — for the better. Potential candidates would not have to avoid running for fear of splitting the vote or “scamming” a close election – allowing for a potentially more diverse pool of candidates.
Look at Alaska, where voters used the RCV to elect Mary Beltula to Congress – making her the first Alaska Native and the first woman to represent the state in the US House of Representatives.
Finally, ranked choice voting saves everyone—you, me, and election officials—time and money.
There will be no run-offs, which can be expensive and turnout is often low – meaning election results are unlikely to reflect the will of the public.
There’s a reason the RCV started sweeping the country — it’s currently used by 13 million voters across the country.
Ranked choice voting makes elections less painful and less expensive, and can help make our government more inclusive and responsive to what people really want.
Maybe you can organize to make ranked choice voting a reality where you live.