Authored on August 25, 2020

 

To the editor:

I have wanted to vote by ranked-choice voting since 1980, when John Anderson was an Independent running against Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter.

I voted for Anderson; he did not win.

I was nervous before I cast my ballot, worried Anderson might be a spoiler. If I had voted by ranking my choices, however, I wouldn’t have worried. I’d have voted my conscience, for the candidate I thought was clearly superior. With RCV, Anderson, the lowest vote-getter, would have been dropped from the counting because he didn’t get a majority. Then my vote would have gone to my second choice candidate. Simple.

RCV is straightforward. If, for instance, there were five candidates for mayor of Bloomington, all five would be on the ballot for the general election. None would have run an expensive primary race for the 10 percent of voters who might vote in the primary. Those 10 percent would not get to decide who’s on the general election ballot. We all would have more choice in the November election. And those five candidates, in order to win, would need to appeal to a broader spectrum of voters. Refreshing.

In November we have the opportunity to make RCV the way we do municipal elections in Bloomington. In this 2020 general election, when voter turnout will be huge, Bloomington voters will express their opinions on RCV and everything else.

So if you believe in more choice on the ballot, if you believe there are voices in our community struggling to be heard, if you are not threatened by the changes that might come when more voices are heard and validated, if you have ever supported a candidate who couldn’t make it past the primary because the 10 percent didn’t want your pick, then you can change the scenario of business as usual.

Vote yes on the ballot question for RCV.

I have waited 40 years for ranked-choice voting. Join me. The time is right. We are ready for ranked-choice voting.

Margaret Swanson