Letters to the Editor

Letter: Alternative voting option

Because of the mayoral runoff election, it’s inevitable that the specter of ranked choice voting (RCV) will again be raised as a method to avoid the cost and inconvenience of the runoff. And that might be tolerable, if only the ranked choice mechanism were equitable and fair, but it’s not.

Every voter is fulfilling their duty as a citizen by voting. However, it’s also true that those same voters may also be looking to choose a candidate who supports their particular view on a given critical issue such as reproductive rights or sexuality. Despite the reality that there may be multiple choices on the ballot, it’s entirely possible that only one or two of them share the same opinion as the voter while the other candidates are outspoken in opposition. In that instance, the voter in question is obligated to vote only for those candidates they support and absolutely cannot, in good conscience, vote for any others. Such a dilemma automatically deprives this voter of the choices they don’t use.

In the RCV realm, the only realistic solution is to allow each voter to apportion their votes as they choose, even if that means they cast all their votes for a single candidate. This certainly doesn’t skew the vote count, but it does permit each voter to use all the votes they have been allotted.

Democracy is far too important to be driven purely by decisions based on the dollar cost of elections, including runoffs. Democracy definitely deserves better than the mystical, statistical morass that ensues from the ranked choice scheme when there isn’t a clear victor in the first round.

— Rick Garner


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