Is Ranked-Choice Voting the answer to the corrupt 2-party system?

Johnny Mambrino, Editor

Politicians on both sides of the political spectrum have said for years how Washington is broken and that there isn’t enough cooperation between the two parties to get things done and deliver their campaign promises. As said by Katherine Gehl, a political researcher, “the parties work very well together in one particular way, which is to rig the rules of the game to protect themselves jointly from new competition”. Republican and Democratic senators just want to make sure they hold their seats in Congress so they can pass their mindless bills that most of the time don’t matter depending on what party holds the majority in the Senate. 

However, there has been a new movement spreading across the country in the last few years to change how the voting system works. In places like Maine, San Francisco, and Sante Fe they are changing the way their representatives are chosen that will allow voters to rank their preferred candidates rather than only choosing one representative. Initial surveys of ranked-choice voting in multiple cities in Minnesota showed that voters were more satisfied with the conduct of local campaigns than in cities with plurality voting, meaning winner takes all. As of 2020, Maine has been the only state to implement Ranked Choice voting at the state level, but there have been eight other states that have carried out RVC at some level. Those eight states include Maine, California, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, Minnesota, Michigan, and Maryland.

Some senators have supported this idea in the past like the late Republican senator, John McCain, who in 2002 stated that this idea would adopt a fairer voting method and it would lead to a better government because leaders would be elected by gaining the majority of the votes. That same year, the man who McCain would ultimately run against in the Presidential race in 2008, then-senator Barack Obama introduced the Senate Bill 1789 that would’ve created as it was referred to at the time, Instant runoff voting, for Congress and state primaries as well as authorized it for local elections. 

With Ranked Choice voting you choose your favorite candidate as your number one choice, and, if you want, you may also add a second choice, third choice, and so on. After all of the first-place votes are counted in the polls and if a specific candidate has over 50 percent of the votes then that candidate wins. However, if the votes are counted and none of the candidates have over 50% of the votes then the candidate that is in the last place is automatically eliminated from the race, and voters who had selected that candidate as their first choice, now have their second-choice vote counted instead. We would then rerun the total votes and continue on that process until the election produces a true majority winner. What this will accomplish is we will always elect the candidate with the broadest appeal to the most number of voters, and if you ask me that’s a lot better than electing from a 2 party system every 4 years because nobody is ever going to be completely satisfied.