To the editor:
The elections have really had me thinking about American politics. With our current two-party system, there has been so much mudslinging between Democrats and Republicans that it often becomes more about getting someone to NOT vote for a candidate and choosing the least objectionable one. We have the ability to change this and do so in a very simple manner. It is called ranked choice voting (RCV).
RCV is easy to implement. If you have a favorite candidate, rank them first. Then your second choice, third choice and so on. If there is someone you absolutely would not want to see in office, don’t rank them at all. No longer would people be afraid to vote for their candidate of choice because of the perception that it would be a “wasted vote.”
With RCV, a winning candidate must secure a majority (50% + 1) of votes. If no one gets a majority of votes in the first round, then there’s an “instant runoff.” The candidate with the fewest votes is eliminated, and the voters for that candidate now have their second choice counted. If you voted for a candidate who’s still in the race, your vote stays with that candidate. This process continues until one candidate emerges with more than 50% of the vote.
RCV is a real opportunity to modernize our election system. Over the past year, I’ve served as an election judge in Anoka County twice. I know the process is highly regulated with numerous checks and balances, and I’m confident that our election administrators can implement RCV efficiently and effectively.
This past November, we saw historic turnouts to the polls. As a civically active member of my community, I would like to capture this momentum and make some lasting change to our election process. That is why I am contacting my legislators, asking them to support ranked choice voting, and I ask you to do the same. I’ll be starting locally but hope to see the momentum spread more broadly to statewide and possibly federal elections.