An alternative ballot system used in some local elections allows votes to be shifted to another choice if the first choice doesn’t win.
When Ralph Nader siphoned 2.7% of the popular vote as a third-party presidential candidate in 2000, he provoked an ongoing debate about whether he cost Al Gore the election.
But here’s a convenient truth: Voting doesn’t have to work like that.
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An alternative system allows voters to rank candidates in order of preference. If no first-choice candidate captures the majority of votes, the candidate receiving the fewest is eliminated and the votes are transferred to the second choice marked on the ballot.
If a winner emerges, it’s over. If not, the process repeats. The weakest candidates are jettisoned in successive rounds until someone wins the election by a majority of votes.
“The Iowa caucuses are almost exactly the same,” said Rob Richie, executive director of FairVote, a nonprofit organization that promotes ranked-choice voting.
The process may sound radical, but it isn’t new. Ireland and Australia have used ranked-choice voting for decades. Ten U.S. cities use ranked-choice voting in local elections. And this fall, voters in Maine will decide whether to adopt the approach for statewide elections.Read the rest of the story HERE.
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