Ranked-choice voting has been in the news a lot lately. It was adopted in New York City’s November 2019 election, used for the first time in U.S. Congressional elections last year, and will be the method by which at least a few states choose a Democratic primary candidate in 2020.
But, what is it? How does it work? And, is it more democratic than the single-vote method we’re used to? This week’s Democracy Works podcast guest has answers to all of those questions.
Burt L. Monroe is Liberal Arts Professor Political Science, Social Data Analytics, and Informatics at Penn State and Director of the university’s Center for Social Data Analytics. He says ranked-choice voting is is generally a good thing for democracy, but not entirely without problems of its own. We also talk about bullet voting, donkey voting, and other types of voting that have be tried around the world.
As Michael and Chris discuss, ranked-choice voting falls into a category of grassroots organizing around pro-democracy initiatives like gerrymandering and open primaries. These efforts signal a frustration with the status quo and a desire to make the rules of democracy more fair and equitable.
Democracy Works is produced by the McCourtney Institute for Democracy at Penn State and WPSU Penn State. New episodes are released every week. Subscribe to the show in your favorite podcast app.