LETTER: Why I’m voting no, in support of RCV

Published on August 11, 2023

To the Editor:

Ranked choice voting is up for a re-vote? This came as a surprise to me since we only just voted to adopt RCV for local elections in 2020 and have only used it once in 2021. And spoiler alert: It was a huge success!

That year, there was a competitive open at-large race that showcased the benefits of RCV.

1) We had five candidates to choose among in the general election (compared to just two under the old system in which 5% of voters in a primary would have decided for the rest of us).

2) It efficiently rolled the primary and general election into a single higher turnout election in November, saving the expense and hassle of a low-turnout, high-cost primary – and it empowered us with more choice.

3) It resulted in a winner elected with a majority of voters in an election with more than 50% higher participation than the last similar election!

That’s a big wow and we should all be celebrating this success.

So why, just after it was initially approved by voters in an election with record-breaking turnout and just two years after its first huge test, is RCV suddenly on the chopping block? It can’t be because RCV ballots are somehow “confusing” as opponents have claimed, since the winning candidate in the RCV runoff won with over a majority of ballots cast and most voters got RCV and ranked their ballots, with nearly zero errors. And it can’t be monetary concerns, since using RCV saves the city about $50,000 by eliminating high-cost, low-turnout primaries.

So don’t fall for the misinformation promulgated by RCV foes. I believe I am like most of my community in being excited to cast a ranked ballot because it gives me more choice and power than the old way ever could. RCV is more democratic, and I’m perplexed as to why opponents would believe a more inclusive democracy is not a good idea. I urge everyone to join me in voting NO on repeal to prevent the rollback of our local democracy.

Originally published in the The Sun Sailor
Published on August 22, 2023

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