Authored on October 14, 2020

As I was putting up lawn signs in favor of Ranked-Choice Voting (RCV), I talked with a woman who wanted a sign. She said to me, “I want more dialogue in our community, not less. And I’ve told all my friends why I’m supporting RCV.” I thanked her for her support and went on my way. But as I pondered her words, I realized: That’s it! That’s the real value of RCV. It’s so simple. With RCV, more people have a chance to talk and to be heard.

Some say our voting system isn’t broken, so why fix it. But it’s damaged, for certain. If I don’t have access to serious money in an election -- even non-partisan elections such as we have in Bloomington -- it is unlikely I will get very far in spreading my message to my Bloomington neighbors. We must hear more voices. I may not agree with those voices. But how will I know if I never hear them?

Our current city leaders represent me very well, actually. But there are others out there who don’t look like me or have my economic and social advantages. While RCV isn’t a magic wand that will bring all the un-voiced into the political process, it will help. So if you haven’t voted yet, please do so. And don’t let fear convince you otherwise: Vote YES on 3 for Ranked Choice Voting.

Margaret M. Swanson, Bloomington

Submitted (unpublished) Letter to the Editor, Bloomington Sun Current