Voting and Election issues
The Ranked Choice Voter Proposal: Ranked choice voting (RCV) is a potential system to conduct municipal, school board, statewide and/or presidential primary elections. Proponents say the system enables avoidance of separate, costly run-off elections. Opponents say RCV creates too much confusion among voters and might reduce voter participation. The system has been used in Australia for the past century.
Under the RCV system, instead of choosing just one favorite, voters rank their preferences from first to last. Everyone’s first choices are counted first, and if one candidate gets a majority of the first-choice votes, the counting ends. If not, the system goes into an “instant runoff”, meaning, the last-place candidate is eliminated, and votes of those who ranked that candidate first are transferred to their second-choice candidates. That process continues until one candidate emerges with a majority of votes.
Ballotpedia offers a brief overview of RCV HERE. The Ranked Choice Voting Resource Center currently coordinates RCV efforts nationwide, and provides what it calls “a compilation of best practices and first-hand experiences from jurisdictions that have used this method of voting”. Find that organization HERE.
The Heritage Foundation has produced its own evaluation of RCV entitled Ranked Choice Voting Is a Bad Choice. That article claims RCV “obscures true debates and issue-driven dialogs among candidates and eliminates genuine binary choices between two top-tier candidates, and “disenfranchises voters, because ballots that do not include the two ultimate finalists are cast aside to manufacture a faux majority for the winner.” Find that article HERE.
Voter Identification Policies: According to Ballotpedia.com, as of April 1, 2019, 35 states enforced (or were scheduled to begin enforcing) voter identification requirements. A total of 17 states required voters to present photo identification. The remainder accepted other forms of identification. Valid forms of identification differ by state. Commonly accepted forms of ID include driver’s licenses, state-issued identification cards, and military identification cards.
The Ballotpedia site also carries information on the ways various states handle Absentee Voting, and Early Voting. Find that information at https://ballotpedia.org/Voting_Policy. They also carry state-by-state comparisons of campaign finance reporting requirements and information on key election-related federal court decisions at https://ballotpedia.org/Campaign_Finance_Policy