Letters to the editor // A vote for ranked-choice voting

We’re experiencing the divisive “spoiler” quandary, again – and it has me worried.

Polls are showing Gary Johnson and Jill Stein taking votes away primarily from HillaryClinton. I’ve seen this dynamic nearly every presidential race (and Minnesota gubernatorial race) for as long as I’ve been here, now 19 years.

I come from Australia, where such a deleterious and lamentable dynamic doesn’t exist in elections. Voters here deserve to know it doesn’t have to be this way. If the U.S. could follow Australia’s – among other world democracies – example and adopt rankedchoice voting, everyone could vote their conscience without fear of playing the spoiler.

RCV is simple: Voters choose their most-preferred candidate but also have the option of ranking additional candidates. In a split and competitive race like the current presidential contest, if no candidate wins a majority of the votes (and polls are showing no candidate will), then an “instant runoff” is possible. If you vote for a third-party candidate, your vote is not “wasted” but instead transferred to your second choice. This ensures the will of the majority prevails – without the expense and hassle of a second election.

My adopted city, Minneapolis, uses RCV. Voters here not only think it’s simple to use, they prefer it 2to1 over the current system. 

RCV offers a proven – and immediate – path to fixing our broken system. It’s the only system that respects and counts every citizen’s vote – and ensures a more representative democracy.

Many voters, particularly younger voters, are fast losing faith in a democracy where their votes don’t reflect their beliefs or interests. Please join me in demanding that our state and national representatives lead the way in making RCV a reality.

More in Letters to the Editor Voices