Why Ranked Choice Voting Works

Why Ranked Choice Voting Works

10 April, 2020

The Forward Party believes that our current system creates poor incentives for our elected officials. Our current system is what is called first past the post. This is where voters select one and only one candidate and whoever has the most votes is elected—even if it is not a majority of the voters. This is made even worse by our closed primaries. In elections where one party is dominant, only the primary matters. This results in elected officials supported by a fraction of a fraction of the electorate. Ranked Choice Voting could change this.

Ranked Choice Voting, also known as Instant Runoff Voting, is a system where voters rank the candidates. A winner is chosen only if they have a majority of the vote. If no one has a majority, the person with the least support is eliminated and the second ranked choice shall control for people who voted for the eliminated candidate. Until there is a candidate who receives a majority of support, candidates will be eliminated.

Ranked Choice Voting ensures that the person elected receives a majority of support. Furthermore, it changes the incentives of the system because the person elected needs the support of more than just their base. They can’t just attack the other side because they need to be the second or third choice of their opponents.

Ranked Choice Voting would allow for more voices to be heard. Voters would no longer be punished for voting for a third party or independent like they are in first past the post voting. They would be free to vote for whomever aligns best with them without the fear of helping the candidates they most oppose be elected.

Ranked Choice Voting would also allow our elected officials the freedom to govern in the ways they think is best for their constituents instead of what is best for their party. It lets them know they are not beholden to their party’s base to be re-elected.

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