Ranked choice voting fever continues to spread as more states and localities consider the system following the lead of Maine, the first state to use the voting system. A change to ranked voting and away from the universally used plurality voting system is being considered now in New Hampshire. A new post at Ballot Access News by Richard Winger has the latest:
On February 13, the New Hampshire House Election Law Committee declined to pass HB 728, which would have provided for ranked choice voting for all federal and state office. But the committee did not defeat the bill either. It will study the issue some more. However, the delay means that ranked choice voting can’t be in place in time for the February 2020 presidential primaries. Here is a copy of the bill. Tiani X. Coleman of New Hampshire has this interesting description of the hearing, posted in Independent Voting Network.
Other states and localities that have recently seen legislation proposed to make the switch to ranked choice voting include Connecticut, Vermont, the city of Baltimore, and at least four cities in Utah. Click those four links for the latest related Democracy Chronicles coverage. So what is ranked choice voting? According to Democracy Chronicles’ friends at at the nonpartisan nonprofit FairVote, an organization with its headquarters in Takoma Park, Maryland:
Ranked choice voting (RCV) makes democracy more fair and functional. It works in a variety of contexts. It is a simple change that can have a big impact. With ranked choice voting, voters can rank as many candidates as they want in order of choice. Candidates do best when they attract a strong core of first-choice support while also reaching out for second and even third choices.
When used as an “instant runoff” to elect a single candidate like a mayor or a governor, RCV helps elect a candidate that better reflects the support of a majority of voters. When used as a form of fair representation voting to elect more than one candidate like a city council, state legislature or even Congress, RCV helps to more fairly represent the full spectrum of voters.