I’m a local captain for Fairvote VA so I volunteer to help organize informational sessions and mobilize advocates for when the GA is in session. It’s a national organization working across the US and the Virginia chapter is headed up by Sally Hudson, economics professor at UVA. She’ll be in attendance to give the presentation and answer questions and I’ll be coordinating more events after this one. Ranked choice is the third pillar of election reform. Campaign finance ensures one person, one vote. Redistricting ensures that citizens choose their representatives and not the other way around, and ranked choice ensures that each vote counts and that representatives can win only with a majority of votes. There are smaller efforts in all 50 states to adopt ranked choice. Santa Fe’s mayoral elections are ranked choice and last year Maine was the first state to make all state level elections ranked choice.Why is this important?
In our current process a candidate can win through plurality – more votes than the other candidates, but that can also mean that two similar candidates split each other’s vote. Ranked choice requires a majority (>50%) for a win so candidates are less likely to fire up their base and more inclined to appeal to the majority of voter’s issues. In effect it broaden platforms, civilizes debates, and leads to more equitable voting. If no candidate has a majority of votes the candidate with the fewest is eliminated, their voter’s 2nd choice is then redistributed among the remaining candidates. They do this until a candidate has a clear majority.What is the likelihood of this happening in Richmond?
Plenty of other countries already do this. It’s a non-partisan effort here so far. The goal is to use an electoral process that favors majority over plurality. The positive effects are broader platforms, more civil campaigns, and even the elimination of primaries. (cost savings)[sep]