Ranked choice voting, also know as “instant runoff”, eliminates the “one man, one vote” theory and voters vote for all candidates, in the order they prefer the candidates. Their first choice would be identified on their ballot, then their second choice would be marked, and so on.
Candidates don’t necessarily win by having the most votes. Typically a candidate needs to have the majority of the vote to win. If there are 5 candidates, and you rank them 1 through 5 in order (for example) but the number one candidate only has 35% of the votes, there will be a round 2.
In round 2, the bottom candidate is dropped, and those votes are dispersed to the second choice selection. If the voter didn’t make a round 2 selection, their ballot is exhausted and their vote is wasted. After the bottom candidate is removed, and votes redistributed. If there is still no candidate with a majority, the process repeats.
Reject The Scam
This method may sound good, but it has many flaws. For one, it’s arguably not a fair way of counting. Its not fair to the candidates, on either side of the isle, nor is it fair to the voters. Our votes, in a sense, will no longer be equal. However, the part that is more worrisome, is that it is a more complicated way to count votes. We already have trust issues with how the votes are tabulated, in large part due to how highly complex the system is, and now they want to make it even more confusing adding even more opportunity for fraud.
Why add a more complicated counting process when it is already confusing to begin with? It just makes it even harder for the public to trust it. Additionally, with increased complexity and fewer people understanding how it’s supposed to work those with bad intentions have an even better chance at successfully cheating. Just think about all the new processes where programmers will have room to hide nefarious code, or provide hidden back door access.
A perfect example of this is the Alaska 2022 special election, where the voters used ranked choice voting for the first time. There were 2 Republican candidates with split totals of 59 and 54 thousand, and one Democrat candidate with 76 thousand. One of the Republicans was eliminated after the first round, leaving one candidate from each party.
Over 11 thousand of the 54 thousand voters who voted for the candidate who was knocked out of the race most likely did not select a second choice candidate. Whatever was the actual case, those 11 thousand ballots were considered exhausted. Of the eliminated candidate’s remaining 42 thousand ballots, 27 thousand votes went to the other Republican candidate, while 15 thousand went to the Democrat candidate. That was just enough to give the Democrat candidate a majority with 51% of the vote.
Assuming the 11 thousand eliminated ballots were because of no second choice, what if that happened simply because the voters were confused and didn’t fully understand the process? 60% of the voters selected a Republican candidate in the first round while only 40% voted for the Democrat. Judging by the final results, it’s not unreasonable to suspect something could be afoul.
FairVote Washington is one of the organizations pushing Ranked Choice Voting. They have tables at farmers markets, they have events and are collecting donations and telling people this is a good idea. We strongly disagree.
They have been working hard at pushing this style of voting in Washington, and across the country. One of their selling points is that it would cost less, because it would eliminate the need for primaries and runoffs. FairVote’s website states,
“RCV eliminates the need for expensive preliminary elections and runoffs. With RCV, jurisdictions reap the benefits of two rounds of voting in a single, more representative, higher-turnout election. This is why RCV is also known as “instant runoff voting”.
They also point out,
“As of July 2022, RCV is reaching 56 cities, counties, and states that are home to over 11 million voters. That includes 2 states, 1 county, and 53 cities. Military and overseas voters cast RCV ballots in federal runoff elections in 6 states.”
This November, Clark County, San Juan County, and the City of Seattle will be voting on whether or not to allow RCV. It is currently prohibited, but won’t be for much longer at this rate. This is a major concern for election security.
This upcoming November 8, 2022 election voters in Clark County will vote on Ranked Choice Voting for local elections. See the resolution below.
Say NO to Ranked Choice Voting!