Authored on May 15, 2019

As a resident who believes in empowering voters and making elections more democratic, I’m excited that the Bloomington City Council is considering ranked-choice voting for local elections.

RCV allows voters to rank their first, second and third choices, rather than just voting for a single candidate for a political seat. If a candidate receives more than half of the first-choice votes, he or she is the winner. If not, the candidate who received the least number of first-choice votes is eliminated, and those ballots’ second-choice votes are added to the remaining candidates’ first-choice vote totals. If there is still not a winner, the process continues until one candidate has more than half of the vote.

RCV gives voters more power and more choice. They don’t have to worry about “wasting” their vote on their favorite candidate.

It also ensures elected officials have broad support.

It saves taxpayer dollars by eliminating poorly-attended local primaries. And cities that have RCV have seen increased voter turnout and satisfaction, increased diversity of elected officials and decreased negative campaigning. Candidates who are successful in RCV elections focus on what’s best for most people, not just their base, and because the winners have broader voter support, they are better positioned to work in the interest of the whole community.

At 6 p.m. Thursday, May 16, in the Haeg Conference Room of Bloomington Civic Plaza, the Bloomington City Council is holding a study session to learn more about RCV. I hope you’ll join me in attending and learning more.

Laura Calbone