Letter: Ranked-choice voting ends politics as usual

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On June 12, we will use ranked-choice voting in the Republican and Democratic primaries for governor and in the Democratic primary for the 2nd Congressional District.

We will also vote for (a “Yes” vote) or against the continued use of RCV in future statewide elections.

Ranked-choice voting, sometimes referred to as an instant runoff, requires that a candidate receive a majority of votes to win office. The bottom finishers are sequentially eliminated and their votes redistributed until someone gets a majority.

To be successful, candidates need to appeal to voters who might not rank them as their first choice – by taking policy positions that appeal to a majority of voters. Extreme positions are penalized, and special interests are disempowered.

RCV removes the “spoiler” effect of independent candidates. Because you can rank all candidates, your first-choice vote can be for someone who is not expected to win without your vote being “wasted.” Independently minded candidates cannot “spoil an election;” rather, independent candidates with popular ideas can gain the traction necessary to influence Democratic and Republican party positions.

I support RCV because I believe it could help elect state and federal legislators more interested in solving problems, and less oriented toward party politics.

Brian Burwell
Freeport

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