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Ranked-Choice Voting

Updated: Mar 15

Although Ranked-Choice Voting seems relatively new to most people, the idea was actually introduced in the 1850s in Europe. Ranked-Choice Voting has been used across the world, including Australia, New Zealand, Scotland, and even some states in the US.


In essence, Ranked-Choice Voting is a process that gives voters the opportunity to rank candidates in order of preference. To make this clearer, take a look at this infographic from the Campaign Legal Center:



Why do some countries adopt this system? There are three key reasons. First, it reduces the chance of vote-splitting between candidates that are similar, providing voters with the opportunity to vote for who they truly want to instead of compromising to select the most likely candidate.


Second, it eliminates the need for multiple elections, which ultimately saves money, reduces trips to the polls, and prevents the decreased turnout rate between the general election and runoff. Finally, it encourages more positive campaign tactics, forcing candidates to take a more nonpartisan approach to elections in order to win instead of using methods to further the divide between voters. 


Of course, this system has been criticized. There are, for instance, concerns that it makes things more complicated for voters.


Ranked-Choice Voting challenges the American status quo and offers a potential way to improve the state of democracy.  


Sources


Campaign Legal Center. “Ranked Choice Voting.” Campaign Legal Center, 2022, campaignlegal.org/democracyu/accountability/ranked-choice-voting. Accessed 18 July 2023.


Resource Center, Ranked Choice Voting. “History of RCV.” Ranked Choice Voting, www.rcvresources.org/history-of-rcv.  Accessed 18 July 2023.


Vote, Ranked. “Pros and Cons of Ranked-Choice Voting.” Pros and Cons of Ranked-Choice Voting, 2023, www.rankedvote.co/guides/understanding-ranked-choice-voting/pros-and-cons-of-rcv. Accessed 18 July 2023.

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