Following a big year, more states push ranked-choice voting


Ranked-choice voting is having a moment. The past year has seen not only an expansion in the use of the ranked. -Choice system but also a growing interest in its more widespread implementation. And in 2023, at least 14 state legislatures. Will consider bills that would move them to this popular model.

In ranked-choice elections, voters mark their first choice on their ballot. Then rank the other candidates in order of preference. If a candidate does not receive a majority of first-preference votes. On the first count, the election goes to an immediate runoff. The candidate with the fewest votes is eliminated. And the ballots cast for that candidate are redistributed to the voters.’ Second choice. The process is repeated until one candidate wins the majority.

Proponents of ranked-choice voting have long argued.

That the setup favors moderate candidates. Who don’t play for either party and act rather than appeal to larger numbers of people.

State lawmakers from both major parties appear to be listening to that argument.

In two weeks into 2023, lawmakers in 14 states have introduced. Filed and prefiled 27 bills that propose various iterations of ranked. -Choice voting, according to an todaystrend News review.

Some bills propose implementing measures for statewide. And federal elections; Others propose limiting its use to primary elections. Some state bills propose ranked-choice voting. Only for local elections, while others offer a temporary pilot system. That would test the use of ranked-choice voting for a specified number of years.

The variety and quantity underscores a growing trend in elections. Across the country: ranked-choice voting is on the rise.

“We’re already seeing a lot of state legislation this year.

And we’re going to see a lot more,” said Rob Ritchie. President and CEO of FairVote, a national swap group that has worked to advance the use for decades. Ranked-choice voting in the United States “will pass some of it.”

In Virginia, for example, four state. Lawmakers from both major parties introduced bills last week. That would advance ranked-choice voting in the state. Two would allow it for presidential primaries beginning in 2024. One would allow it for any primary election, and one would expand. The state’s current ranked-choice pilot program for use in all local elections.

In 2020, Virginia lawmakers enacted a pilot program for ranked. -Choice voting in local elections through 2031; A handful of locals have used the system so far. The state GOP uses a ranked-choice voting system at its state convention in 2021. To select a gubernatorial nominee. Proponents of the system say it more allows. A candidate with broad crossover appeal to advance. The winner, Glenn Youngkin, won the general election.

“Lawyers all over the country use the GOP nomination race in Virginia as an successful test case. And that’s important because sometimes it’s painted as a progressive issue, and it isn’t. It benefits both parties, and it’s a good one to use on the right. example,” said Liz White, executive director of UpVote Virginia. A nonpartisan election reform organization that supports ranked-choice voting.

“It appears that both parties in Virginia are moving down.

A road toward adopting RCV on a broader scale,” White said.

In Connecticut, state Representative Keith Denning, a Democrat. Introduced a bill that would establish a ranked-choice voting. System for all state and federal elections, and Rep. David Michel. A Democrat, introduced a bill that would allow ranked-choice. Voting in all local and municipal elections.

Lawmakers in Oklahoma and Montana introduced bills. That would allow officials to install ranked-choice voting in all elections. And Wyoming legislators have proposed creating. A pilot program to use it in local and municipal elections in the state.

Bills in Maryland and Massachusetts would allow certain cities. And towns to use ranked-choice voting in their elections. While bills in Missouri and New Hampshire would create rules for ranked. -Choice voting, setting the stage for future legislation that would allow the use. procedure.

A bill in Oregon proposed using ranked-choice voting in federal. And state elections, a bill in New Jersey proposed using it in all state elections. And a bill in New York would change all nonpartisan. Primaries to a ranked-choice voting system.

Besides, local ballot measures are already in place.

And will occur in 2023 that will allow voters to have a direct. Say on whether ranked-choice voting will be implemented in their local elections. They are in Redondo Beach, California and Burlington, Vermont. Both ballot measures are scheduled to be voted on in March.

Discussions are also underway among Arizona policymakers. Who are looking at ranked-choice voting as a possible way to combat extremism.

“It’s going to be a year of progress,” Fairvote’s Ritchie said.

Ranked-choice voting advocates like Ritchie say they are concerned. About that progress and continue to argue. That the system changes politics for the better by giving candidates. Incentives to avoid pandering to their bases and going negative. They say these candidates must appeal to voters as a second. Third or even fourth choice the way most ranked-choice voting models work.

“It’s very simple where qualities come from. If you are limited to a single choice, your public.  If you are united with that single choice, you stop thinking.

The latest raft of proposed legislation follows a year of significant.

and growing enthusiasm for ranked-choice voting. According to FairVote, in 2022, 25 state lawmakers. Introduced legislation to advance or expand ranked-choice voting, including bills in six states. Voters in eight jurisdictions have passed ballot systems adopting ranked-choice voting. These included Nevada, where voters approved a citizen-led constitutional amendment to institute. Ranked-choice voting in all statewide general elections except presidential elections. Under Nevada law, the measure must pass again in 2024 to take effect.

In 2022, Alaska became the second state to use ranked-choice voting in state. And federal elections (Maine has used the system. In state and federal elections since 2018). And the number of cities and towns that switched to ranked-choice. Voting increased to more than 50.

In many states, some of the system’s supposed strengths promised by supporters. — Such as the rejection of polarizing candidates — have come to fruition. For example, in Alaska, where ranked-choice voting was used for the first time in state Senate. And congressional races, voters chose incumbent Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Mary Peltola over more extreme candidates for those offices.

“Ranked-choice voting forces candidates to form coalitions. “And it forces voters to do the same with candidates they might not have otherwise taken a look at.”

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