Letter to the Editor: UConnPIRG’s campaign for Rank Choice Voting

The Problem: A common problem faced by voters is feeling that their pick for office, whether it be local, state or federal, goes unnoticed and has little effect on the outcome of the election. This is due in part by the traditional style of voting where people have a single vote to choose who they believe to be the best candidate to fill the position. This style however can fail to accurately convey the choice of voters. Many times voters will be wary of casting their one and only ballot for a candidate who they assume won’t have enough votes to secure the office. This causes voters to go for a more mainstream candidate, instead of their ideal choice for fear of “wasting” their vote.

The Solution: The solution to this is a different system for voting is called “Rank Choice Voting.” This style of voting allows for voters to rank the candidates running for office. Voters essentially have picks for their first, second, third, etc. choice. The first choice votes are counted up for each candidate, if no candidate gets over half the votes then whichever candidate has the fewest votes is taken out of the running and those voters have their second choice votes added to the respective candidate. This continues until a candidate has majority and ultimately wins the election. Here there are no wasted votes, even if the first choice candidate is eliminated in the first round your second choice vote still can impact the results of the race. The great thing about Rank Choice Voting is that it more accurately represents the voters’ choices and can be implemented in all levels of government.

UConnPIRG is looking to bring Rank Choice Voting to campus and promote it throughout Connecticut to allow Connecticut voters the ability to have a stronger say in their elections. Visit UConnPIRG Democracy campaign in SU 214 or email noah.o’connor@uconn.edu for more information on how to get involved. For more information of Rank Choice Voting visit fairvote.org.