January 29, 2015

Six reasons to support ranked choice voting

Dick Woodbury, Bangor Daily News, ME - First, the finally elected candidate is chosen by a majority of voters.

Second, there is no such thing as a spoiler candidate. If a candidate turns out not to be electable, then he or she is eliminated in the counting process. The candidate doesn’t “spoil” the result by taking away votes from somebody else.

Third, voters can cast their vote for a preferred candidate without the strategic dilemma of potentially helping a candidate they oppose.

Fourth, by avoiding spoiler candidates and strategic voting, the entire messaging of campaigns, media coverage and public evaluation of candidates will focus on issues, vision, experience and capabilities; not on polling and electability.

Fifth, elected candidates can serve with a credibility and mandate that can only be delivered by a majority of votes cast.

Sixth, and perhaps most importantly, campaigns will be more civil and respectful, as candidates avoid alienating their opponents’ supporters. Rather than appealing to loyal supporters alone, a winning candidate needs to appeal to a genuine majority of all voters, including those whose first choice may be somebody else.

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