This really interesting article is from the LSE’s US Centre:
In 2019 two cities in Utah began using a type of ranked-choice voting for elections. And while ranked-choice voting is more effective in increasing minority representation than first past the post voting, Utah’s version may be harmful to minorities, argue Jack Santucci and Benjamin Reilly. As votes under this system can ‘cascade’ downwards from the first winner to others from the same party or group, they write that ‘block-preferential’ voting could lead to unfair outcomes if adopted more widely.
Americans seeking an end to polarization and genuinely multi-party politics are pinning their hopes on ranked-choice voting (RCV). The success of RCV in Maine and its uptake in cities and towns across the country marks an important step in this process.
However, a new kind of ranked-choice voting has emerged in some multi-member town councils in Utah. It looks a lot like the proportional version that multi-party advocates want, but works against the interests of fair representation. This “block preferential” system is a mistake which could undermine the broader push for RCV. To understand why, we need to think about how electoral systems are designed.
Read the full story here.