Ranked Choice Voting
By Michael Ninen, Washington Bus Summer Fellow
When I talk to my friends about voting, too often I hear that they do not plan on voting in an election because the person they wanted to represent them didn’t win and make it to the November general election ballot. A big argument against voting in the upcoming November election is dissatisfaction coming from a system that undermines the votes of many in the primaries. For example, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders were removed from the ballot, which essentially voided their votes. It doesn’t feel great when a system that is already lacking in its representation ends up leaving out many of those who may want to participate. While it is important to vote within the current system, that doesn’t mean we can’t actively work to change said system. You may be wondering; how can we change that? FairVote Washington, a non-profit advocacy organization, believes that they have the solution.
FairVote Washington is an advocacy organization that is fed up with the current way our voting system works. They advocate for ranked choice voting and they want to bring it to our home state. Ranked choice voting is actually a system used all around the world successfully to properly represent the population. Here’s how it works in simple terms. With ranked choice voting, voters have the opportunity to rank in order of preference who is on the ballot. If there is no overwhelming majority, then the candidate with the least amount of support is removed from the ballot and a second round is conducted. Instead of throwing out the votes of a lost candidate, like those from smaller political parties, they get a second choice to voice their support. If your top choice is removed, your vote is then moved over to your second choice. This process continues until one candidate has a majority of votes. There are no lost votes in this system.
A Call to Action:
If ranked choice voting interests you, then you can support FairVote Washington in launching this same system in our state. You can find out more about ranked choice voting and FairVote Washington’s chapter on their Website fairvotewa.org. While this blog briefly looks into the basics of this voting system; it does not cover the complexities of how it should work in complete detail. To find out more please visit their website and, if you so please, sign the petition to launch this voting system here.
In The Patriot Act on Netflix, Hasan Minhaj talks about ranked choice voting. Watch the 30-minute segment at this link to hear more about why our current voting system needs to change!