George E. Wisconsin

Ranked Choice Voting

Replacing Polarity Voting with Ranked Choice Voting.

Dear Future President,

In this country we have a voting system fundamentally incapable of giving the citizens of the United States a voice in how the country is led. We currently use a system known as polarity voting, which seems sound: the candidate with the most votes wins. But the reality is that there are more than two candidates, and even then, often the winning candidate has less than a majority of the vote (50% plus one vote). In this system, the majority of the citizens voted against the candidate that won. Not only does it not represent the citizens’ wishes well, but the voting system prevents more than two candidates, which despite benefiting you, is horrible for us, the people. In this system “Strategic Voting” is a must: you vote for a candidate you like less who has a better chance of winning because otherwise a candidate you abhor would win. This leads to a two party duopoly and eliminates other “third” parties.

In Maine, a measure to change the voting system to Ranked Choice Voting is being voted upon on November 8th. Ranked Choice Voting has two key differences from polarity voting: (1) candidates are ranked, rather than the voter only picking one; and (2) a candidate must receive over 50% of the vote to be declared the winner. If there are three candidates and neither have over 50% of the vote, the candidate with the least votes is eliminated. The next choice for the voters whose first choice candidate was just eliminated is then tallied, and the candidate with the majority of votes is declared the winner. This allows citizens to express their true feelings on election day, without worrying about “spoiler” candidates, or wasting their vote. It also allows third parties to have an actual voice in the modern political scene.

Whether or not you are happy with the current candidates or would even consider voting for a third party candidate, this method would increase debate and the number of different ideas being shared and considered. It, while not perfect, is a good start, and removes the inherent undemocratic nature of our current voting system. Please, it is very important that we move away from our current voting system as it is the fundamental basis of our democracy, and it is broken.

Madison Country Day School

English 10

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