Letter: Ranked Choice Voting

Letters to the Editor
Instant runoff or ranked choice voting is popular, pragmatic, efficient, and tax-saving, so why are we not doing this? Our political systems need help. Congress is more polarized than ever and both parties are moving to either extreme.

Making our representative democracy work again demands changing the incentives of getting elected and staying in office. Until we reform our elections, too many political leaders will be incentivized to reinforce these divides and deepen polarization. We can fix it by simple acts in Congress and the states.

Instant Runoff Voting, also known as Ranked Choice Voting (RCV), is a simple reform allowing voters to rank several candidates in order of preference rather than just selecting one choice. RCV rewards candidates who campaign with a unifying message, and penalizes divisive politicking. It has numerous other benefits as well:

A) Empowers Voters with more choices 

B) Increases Voter participation 

C) Promotes Unity 

D) Foster's Civility

E) Eliminates the Spoiler Effect

F) Results in Majority Support for Winners

G) Saves Taxpayer Money by eliminating runoffs

There are 62 cities in the country using RCV with another 50 taking steps to implement it. Three states, Maine and Alaska use instant runoff for all elections. Nevada voters just passed it and five other states are headed in that direction.

RCV allows more candidates to run without being a spoiler candidate and makes candidates focus on issues instead of mudslinging. 

For cities that hold runoff elections, it will save taxpayers the time and cost of a second trip to the polls for the runoff. Jacksonville alone would save $1.2 million every election cycle. New York City now saves $10 million. The Georgia Senate runoff would have saved $75 million and the month-long delay in determining the winner. This does not include the tens of millions spent on candidate campaigns.

Voters overwhelmingly prefer RCV. Candidates like it because it eliminates the need for a runoff campaign. Most importantly, the winning candidate will have more than 50 percent voter support.  Republican and Democratic party leaders would like you to think that there is no better way than the status quo, but America is waking up. It is time to examine the system that has brought us to this era of discontent and discord. Then get to the work of making a better, freer, more equitable system. 

If you like the nature of our politics then you'll want to keep the system the same. If you want to save time, and money and have more civilized campaigns resulting in more popularly-approved elected officials, RCV or instant runoff voting is for you. It is a system that rewards people for positive campaigns reaching across the aisle and ultimately earning the support of the majority. 

Learn more at  www.rankmyvoteflorida.org. Sign the petition and add your voice to this growing movement.

John Severini lives in Sarasota Fl and is Chair, Rank My Vote Florida working to bring RCV to our elections. 

Reader Comments
JAN 15, 2023  •  Exactly correct Mr. Finer.
Paul Finer
JAN 15, 2023  •  The Developers and their campaign consultants own the current process and won't allow change.