Robert Reich (One Thing That Will Make Choices Better for…)

One thing that will make elections better for everyone

Are you tired of the onslaught of negative political ads that air on your TV every election season?

Increasing fear. Half-truths.

Believe it or not, we can make a simple reform to make elections more tolerant for voters.

This is called rating voting or RCV and it can change our politics for the better.

When you head to the ballot box in ranking voting, instead of voting for just one candidate, you have the option to rank the candidates in order of preference: first, second, third, and so on.

So if you are stuck between two preferred candidates for a position, you can distribute your preferences in the hope that one of them will win.

When ballots are counted, if no candidate receives an absolute majority, the candidate with the fewest votes is eliminated and their votes are redistributed in favor of the second candidate of their supporters.

This process continues until the candidate receives more than 50% of the votes and is declared the winner.

It’s also good for a variety of other reasons.

Implementing RCV could have the added benefit of making our choices… well… better.

In a ranked-choice voting system, candidates are less likely to engage in the vilification that we see every election season because they are not just trying to be the first choice of the voters—they also want to be the second choice of voters who support their opponents.

It can motivate anyone who is running for office be more inclusive and reach out to a wider range of voters – helping to connect people who do not always agree on all issues.

The RCV also allows us to exercise our right to vote without feeling like we are compromising our beliefs or simply voting for the “lesser of two evils”. We can vote FOR the candidates we like the most rather than vote AGAINST the candidates we like the least. RCV can also open the door voters cast their votes for more outside candidates.

Even if your favorite candidate from your preferred party has no chance of winning, that person can still be your first choice – and you won’t feel like you’re completely giving up your vote. If your candidate does not make it to the final round, your second or third choice may still be the winner in the final tally.

Ranked voting on choice can even change the types of people who run for office – for the better. Potential candidates will not have to avoid participating in elections for fear of vote splitting or “tainted” election results, potentially more varied pool of candidates run away

Look at Alaska, where voters used the RCV to elect Mary Peltola to Congress, which made her first Alaska Native and first woman represent the state in the US House of Representatives.

Finally, rating voting saves everyone – you, me, election commissions – time and Money.

No more stocks, what could be expensive and often have lower turnout means that election results are less likely to reflect the will of the population.

There’s a reason RCV start sweeping the nation – it is currently used by 13 million voters nationwide.

Selective voting makes elections less painful, less costly, and can help make our government more inclusive and responsive to what the people really want.

Maybe you can organize a ranking vote to make it a reality where you live.

(A source: