To the editor:
Bloomington’s first election using ranked-choice voting was a huge success, which is why we’re more than a bit confused about why some residents are asking for another vote on it.
Polling by Edison Research showed that 77% of voters found RCV simple to use, and 61% said they like and want to continue using RCV.
Because RCV eliminates the need for the low-turnout summer primary, the city saved more than $80,000, according to the city clerk’s office, and voters had more time to learn about all the candidates, only had to go to the polls once and could fully express their candidate preferences.
Among the candidates, there was a range of demographic and political diversity and nuance not seen in recent municipal elections. It was refreshing to hear a variety of perspectives rather than just the two polar opposites. We saw little negative campaigning as candidates asked for second-choice votes from voters. In fact, the polling showed that more than 90% of voters believed the candidates didn’t spend most of their time criticizing each other.
The same minority group of opponents who tried to stop RCV from getting on the ballot are trying to take it away from the majority of voters who want it for all the benefits we saw in just the first election. RCV brings a more inclusive, civil and less polarizing democracy to Bloomington, and that’s exactly what we need more of in our democracy everywhere.
It’s clear not everyone agrees with this vision of democracy, but the majority of Bloomington voters do, and RCV is here to stay.
Laura Calbone and Marcia Wattson
Calbone and Wattson were organizers for Ranked Choice Voting Bloomington.