VII – Majority vote required to be elected.
Looking at some options to consider for ensuring that officeholders are always selected by a majority of the electorate. An underlying premise is that any one voted into office should have received the most votes. In elections with more than two candidates, there have long been concerns about allowing race winners to take office when they have secured only a plurality of votes rather than gathering a true simple majority of support in the election. One of the more simple and common approaches to solving this is to hold a runoff election between the two candidates who received the most votes. While, in theory, the runoff election seems like a simple solution to ensure that all office holders are chosen by a majority of the voters, in practice it has some distinct weaknesses. The 2020 Georgia Senate races provided a well publicized runoff election example. Run off elections are expensive. There are other methods that work and eliminate the extra costs.
An alternative proposal for US elections has been gaining in popularity in recent years. https://ballotpedia.org/Ranked-choice_voting_(RCV) or https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Instant-runoff_voting. Ranked choice voting (RCV) would completely eliminate the need for states to foot the bill for a costly extra runoff election. RCV would also give voters a much greater say in election outcomes. In these elections the voter ranks their choices. It improves fairness in elections by allowing voters to rank candidates in order of preference: first, second, third and so forth.. The first choice candidates votes are then tallied. If no candidate has achieved a majority, the candidate with the fewest 1st choice votes would be eliminated. Then those who chose the eliminated candidate as their first choice would have their #2 vote choice counted as their 1st choice. This continues until a candidate receives a majority of the votes. RCV is straightforward: It works in all types of elections and supports more representative outcomes.
Ranked choice voting would change the primary elections, It could save taxpayers significant amounts of money currently spent on elections. Only one ballot would need to be printed. Ranked choice voting reduces the power wielded by majority parties in election outcomes and allows voters to give a more nuanced approach to choosing from the candidates running for office. Where is Ranked Choice voting used? Two states, Alaska and Maine and in 2024 Nevada, use Ranked Choice voting while several states, Colorado, New York, Utah and others use this method in some of their elections. According to Fair Vote, as of June 2021, 22 jurisdictions used RCV in their most recent elections, and 50 jurisdictions are projected to use RCV in either their next election or the one following. That represents 2 states, 1 county, 26 cities outside of Utah and 18 Utah cities.
Parties would still have the opportunity to hold conventions, caucuses, or primaries to select and endorse a candidate. In the four candidate primary a voter would never have any lower than their 3rd choice vote used because after two ballots there are only two candidates left and one of them would have a majority of the votes. Voters are not required to rank all of the candidates but have that option.
Alaska's 2022 election using RCV Alaska's 2022 Election
See Idaho for information about Idaho's efforts to open their election system.
Go to: fairvote.org, or https://fairvote.org/our-reforms/ranked-choice-voting/
Also a proposal of a small city Mayor in Idaho: https://www.idahostatejournal.com/freeaccess/time-to-rethink-the-closed-primary/article_24e80f8a-8784-50e6-b6c1-4250da604761.html
Category: State and City/County