Letter: Ranked Choice Voting

Published on October 30, 2022

To the editor:

My political views often strike a more balanced position between the two parties. This stands true even more so today, given the heated and extreme rhetoric between Democrats and Republicans. This year, I feel I must vote for Democrats Aric Putnam and Dan Wolgamott for the state senate and house.

I am doing so because the DFL will push for Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) for statewide elections. RCV would, for the first time in my life, allow me to vote for independent parties or more moderate candidates I genuinely support without wasting my vote.

Consider the reality we encounter every election. Does one:

A. Vote for the major party candidate they prefer? Doing so means you know your actual views will never really be represented, and inflammatory partisan politics remain unchanged.

B. Vote for a minor party candidate or moderate that excites you and actually represents your views? But understand your vote is wasted because only Democrats or Republicans will win.

RCV solves this problem simply and fairly. It will allow those of us who prefer Independent candidates to rank them first but then express who we prefer between the Democrat and the Republican.

At the very least, this introduces further competition into the system, forcing candidates of the two dominant parties to be more responsive to voters. Safe districts allow candidates to pander to their base in the current system. A representative system only works if districts actually elect someone representative of voters views. RCV is not a panacea, but it is a start to a more robust electoral system.

Please help build a system to get the best we have to offer into political office. Vote for Aric Putnam and Dan Wolgamott this year, and we will all have much more choice in years to come.

Ethan Gray, St. Cloud

Originally published in the St. Cloud Times
Published on October 30, 2022

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