Ranked choice voting ensures that your desires count when more than 2 candidates are running. You rank candidates in order of preference. If nobody wins 50%, and your first choice doesn’t make the cut, your second choice counts in an “instant runoff.” More on that below.
Political parties don’t like this because it reduces their power, but it gives US a greater voice—letting us FULLY express our desires. The only people who don’t like it, almost always don’t understand it.
Example: Regular Election
Let’s say we’re at the General Election. You’re a Republican who prefers Trump, the Republican nominee. DeSantis decides to run as an independent. So the candidates are:
- Biden, running as the Democrat,
- Trump running as the Republican,
- and DeSantis, running as an independent.
You vote for Trump.
The election ends with Trump winning 40%, DeSantis getting 15% and Biden 45%. DeSantis scores so low is because he’s seen as a “spoiler.” People who get math understand that voting for the independent robs the main party of a vote, and even though they may prefer DeSantis, they vote for Trump.
With the conservative vote split, Biden wins with 45% of the total vote even though 55% of the voters (Trump 40% and DeSantis 15%) were voting conservative! In this example, the electorate voted for a right-leaning candidate, but a left-leaning candidate won.
What if you could say “If trump doesn’t win, put my vote on DeSantis.” That’s what ranked choice voting does.
Example: Ranked Choice
It’s quite simple. Voters rank their candidates on the voting card. Your card would be:
#1 First choice Trump,
#2 Second choice: DeSantis.
#3 Third choice: Biden (it doesn’t actually matter if you list your last choice)
That’s it. You express your desires and the system executes them as described next.
If a candidate earns 50% of the tally, they win. Election over.
But if nobody gets 50%, the lowest vote-earner is removed, and votes for that person go to the voter’s SECOND choice.
So in our example, where nobody won 50%, DeSantis had the lowest total. All those who voted for him have their votes count towards their next pick, who would most likely be Trump. NOW Trump gets 55% of the vote and wins. It better reflects that, in this example, 55% of the country wanted a right-leaning candidate.