Now More Than Ever, We Need Ranked Choice Voting

Photo by Jacquesofalltrades.

The DC Fair Elections Act has been a huge success. This act, which provides robust public financing to candidates for election in DC, was taken advantage by seven of the eight candidates for the Ward Two Democratic primary. Hell, even Jack Evans of all people used it. While the apparent winner, Brooke Pinto, eschewed the program, it undeniably enabled many more candidates to make a noticeable splash than in the prior system. This is a great thing, but it makes it all the more essential that we adopt some form of ranked choice voting.

Ranked choice voting essentially asks voters to rank the candidates by the order of preference. You can rank them all, or just some, or just one. It’s up to you. After the votes are cast, the Board of Elections runs a quick and open algorithm to see which candidate is preferred by the most voters. Here is a basic video explaining how the most common version works:

Brook Pinto only got 28% of the vote. In a crowded field, getting 28% is actually pretty good! But who knows if she’d win with ranked choice voting. We do know, however, that the winner of a ranked choice election, whoever that would’ve been, could more confidently claim to be the preferred candidate of the voters.

Don’t think that simply because GM’s favorite candidate didn’t win the Ward Two primary that this is just sour grapes. This is something he’s be calling for for literally ten years. It made sense back then, but it really makes sense in a world of publicly financed campaigns.

We got more candidates to choose from this year than we have literally ever had. That’s great! But now we need to change how we choose.

3 Comments

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3 responses to “Now More Than Ever, We Need Ranked Choice Voting

  1. MGT

    YES! Either ranked-choice voting or an open (non-partisan) primary and top-two runoff. I’ve been wondering when somebody with a voice was going to speak out about the absurdity of our current system. Is there any organization working on this cause for DC?

  2. Topher

    David Grosso introduced a bill that would adopt ranked choice voting, but I don’t think it went anywhere: http://www.davidgrosso.org/grosso-analysis/2019/10/8/councilmember-grosso-introduces-bills-to-enhance-representation-in-local-government

  3. #RCV is important, but before any real change to fighting racism, #Inequity of #Wealth & Income, #Inequality of #Justice, #Education, and #Health We need a new breed of “Citizen” politicians.

    We need to institute #PFofE (Public Financing of Elections). To do this, we will copy the #Gold standard of campaign election financing: Quebec Canada. There will be NO corporate, union, lobbyist, or third party donations allowed. There will be a maximum of a $100 donation per person/year to a candidate or political party. To minimize any ability of corruption, the donations will be funneled through an independent Director of Elections. In addition to the donations, each candidate will receive a budget in equal part that will be sufficient to run a good campaign – smaller for municipal, larger for federal. To help elect this new breed of independent “citizen” politicians, best to implement #RCV Ranked Choice Voting and eliminate first past the post. Ranked Choice Voting is how most political parties choose their leader so if it is good enough for them, let the voters have it.

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