apodino
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Rank Choice Voting, Yea or Nay?

Thu May 23, 2019 4:23 pm

There has been a lot of talk about having congressional and gubernatorial elections go to a rank choice ballot. In a system you would rank your candidates based on preference. The way the system works is if no one gets 50 percent of the ballot based on the first choice, weaker candidates are dropped, and then the second choices are counted. So for example say there was a Democrat, a Republican, a Libertarian, a Green, and a Reform party candidate on the ballot. Based on first choices, the Democrat got 40 percent of the vote, the Republican 35, the libertarian 15, the green and reform 5 each. Under this system, the green and the reform party candidates are dropped. On those ballots that had green and reform as the first choice you now look at the second choice. So after that is taken into account, the Democrat goes to 45, the Republican 37, the libertarian 18. Now you drop the libertarian candidate and look at their second or third choices. Lets say the Republican now goes to 51 percent and the Democrat 49 percent. Under this example, the republican would win.

Maine already uses this system. In one of their congressional races, (I believe it was for the 2nd District) the republican got more votes on the first ballot than the Democrat, but under the rules of the rank system, the Democrat was eventually declared the winner of the race.

There are pros and cons to this system. For one it would allow you to actually vote for your preferred candidate while keeping other candidates on that you would prefer to other candidates. This could make it a little easier for third parties to win an election here or there. But the Con is you have a situation like Maine where the guy who won the election had fewer votes. But then again, the electoral college did the same thing with the last election as well.

Thoughts?
 
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Dutchy
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Re: Rank Choice Voting, Yea or Nay?

Thu May 23, 2019 4:51 pm

I think proportional representation is the better system, you have much more nuances in elections.
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Pyrex
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Re: Rank Choice Voting, Yea or Nay?

Thu May 23, 2019 5:01 pm

Dutchy wrote:
I think proportional representation is the better system, you have much more nuances in elections.


More like no representation... End up in Parliament only because some corrupt political party put you on their list, with no accountability whatsoever to voters.
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Dutchy
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Re: Rank Choice Voting, Yea or Nay?

Thu May 23, 2019 5:07 pm

Pyrex wrote:
Dutchy wrote:
I think proportional representation is the better system, you have much more nuances in elections.


More like no representation... End up in Parliament only because some corrupt political party put you on their list, with no accountability whatsoever to voters.


Thanks for this unbiased and completely nuanced opinion which is well researched and backed up by unbiased resources. Kuddos for this well though out opinion.
Many happy landings, greetings from The Netherlands!
 
cledaybuck
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Re: Rank Choice Voting, Yea or Nay?

Thu May 23, 2019 5:22 pm

apodino wrote:
There has been a lot of talk about having congressional and gubernatorial elections go to a rank choice ballot. In a system you would rank your candidates based on preference. The way the system works is if no one gets 50 percent of the ballot based on the first choice, weaker candidates are dropped, and then the second choices are counted. So for example say there was a Democrat, a Republican, a Libertarian, a Green, and a Reform party candidate on the ballot. Based on first choices, the Democrat got 40 percent of the vote, the Republican 35, the libertarian 15, the green and reform 5 each. Under this system, the green and the reform party candidates are dropped. On those ballots that had green and reform as the first choice you now look at the second choice. So after that is taken into account, the Democrat goes to 45, the Republican 37, the libertarian 18. Now you drop the libertarian candidate and look at their second or third choices. Lets say the Republican now goes to 51 percent and the Democrat 49 percent. Under this example, the republican would win.

Maine already uses this system. In one of their congressional races, (I believe it was for the 2nd District) the republican got more votes on the first ballot than the Democrat, but under the rules of the rank system, the Democrat was eventually declared the winner of the race.

There are pros and cons to this system. For one it would allow you to actually vote for your preferred candidate while keeping other candidates on that you would prefer to other candidates. This could make it a little easier for third parties to win an election here or there. But the Con is you have a situation like Maine where the guy who won the election had fewer votes. But then again, the electoral college did the same thing with the last election as well.

Thoughts?

I like it. It lets me vote for whomever I want without "throwing my vote away". And I don't think you can say with fewer votes won the election in Maine. People are going to vote differently in a system like this. The guy who won may have actually gotten more votes under the regular system.
 
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einsteinboricua
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Re: Rank Choice Voting, Yea or Nay?

Thu May 23, 2019 5:35 pm

apodino wrote:
But the Con is you have a situation like Maine where the guy who won the election had fewer votes. But then again, the electoral college did the same thing with the last election as well.
That's not a con. That's a plus. The Republican got the most votes but not an majority. It means a majority did not pick him as their ideal candidate in the first round. So if you progressively eliminate the bottom candidates and see where those votes are transferred to, you eventually discover who the majority of people wanted as their representative. It's the reason when you plan to have dinner with friends you vote for a plan A and a plan B so that if plan A doesn't get a majority, plan B might.

apodino wrote:
But then again, the electoral college did the same thing with the last election as well.
Let's not forget that if Trump had failed to achieve a majority in the electoral college (less than 270 but still more than Clinton), the race would have been turned to the House. The makeup of the House at the time would have favored Trump regardless, but picture states like CO and VA whose delegations were majority Republican but who gave their EC votes to Clinton. I have no doubt that both states' House delegation would have given their one vote to Trump.

Bottom line: plurality does not equal majority and/or will of the people. A candidate can win the EC by winning just 22% of the population (assuming that every citizen votes regardless of age and all votes are for either X or Y with no 3rd party, blank, or spoiled votes), by winning a majority of the population in the 40 least populated states (with NJ being the swing state here). You can essentially ignore CA, TX, FL, NY, PA, IL, OH, GA, NC, and MI, who together account for well over 53% of the total US population, and win by winning 50% of the remaining 40 states (and again, we're assuming 100% turnout even of citizens not of age to vote, so its likely the percentage will be even smaller).

Dutchy wrote:
I think proportional representation is the better system, you have much more nuances in elections.

This is good for legislative elections at an overall level, where districts are not drawn and the government is formed from the legislative branch (i.e. a Parliament.). Not so much for state legislatures or Congress whose members hail from districts. What is needed for this system is mixed-member proportional: doubling the seats so that district votes remain the same, but filling the second half of seats to reflect proportional voting. For the US House, whether it means each state delegation is doubled so that the second half indicates that state's proportion or whether Congress is appointed by an at-large list put forth by national parties is debatable. That gives me an idea to look into running several scenarios.
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ltbewr
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Re: Rank Choice Voting, Yea or Nay?

Thu May 23, 2019 5:37 pm

Most Americans would never accept this style of voting as too complicated, confusing and changing traditions. Yes, it would deal with some of the serious problems our current system, but adding complexity would likely mean few would vote for the '2nd choice' or at all, and in some elections you really don't have any opposition. Some states for state an local office have 'run-off' elections to deal where a candidate gets less than 50%.
 
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einsteinboricua
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Re: Rank Choice Voting, Yea or Nay?

Thu May 23, 2019 6:34 pm

ltbewr wrote:
Some states for state an local office have 'run-off' elections to deal where a candidate gets less than 50%.

And in that case, Rank Choice Voting is not needed because a subsequent election asks voters to select between two candidates. RCV incorporates this so that a separate election is not needed (it's why it's also called Instant Run-Off).
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VSMUT
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Re: Rank Choice Voting, Yea or Nay?

Thu May 23, 2019 7:11 pm

Dutchy wrote:
I think proportional representation is the better system, you have much more nuances in elections.


:checkmark:

Make each vote count. Simplest and most fair system.


Pyrex wrote:
More like no representation... End up in Parliament only because some corrupt political party put you on their list, with no accountability whatsoever to voters.


Proportional representation doesn't necessarily prevent you from voting for individual candidates. That's just a question of how you set up your system. Denmark allows you to vote for either a political party as a whole or an individual candidate (who can be both independent or a member of a party).
 
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Dutchy
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Re: Rank Choice Voting, Yea or Nay?

Thu May 23, 2019 7:24 pm

VSMUT wrote:
Dutchy wrote:
I think proportional representation is the better system, you have much more nuances in elections.


:checkmark:

Make each vote count. Simplest and most fair system.


Pyrex wrote:
More like no representation... End up in Parliament only because some corrupt political party put you on their list, with no accountability whatsoever to voters.


Proportional representation doesn't necessarily prevent you from voting for individual candidates. That's just a question of how you set up your system. Denmark allows you to vote for either a political party as a whole or an individual candidate (who can be both independent or a member of a party).


The same in the Netherlands. There is a party list and you can vote for any candidate on the list. In practice, the number one will get something like 80%plus of the votes on a party, so the party will effectively decide which will be their representatives or not, but there are exceptions because, the rules in the Netherlands state that you only need to have about 1/4th of the votes to be directly elected.
Many happy landings, greetings from The Netherlands!
 
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RyanairGuru
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Re: Rank Choice Voting, Yea or Nay?

Thu May 23, 2019 10:17 pm

Australia has preferential voting, and has had since the 1920s. At first I was quite cynical about it, but am a major convert after seeing it in action.

Some posters in this thread are conceptually thinking about it from a FPTP perspective, which is not accurate. Preferntial is actually a different system with different outcomes to a run-off vote. The system is designed so that the eventual winner is the most preferred by the most amount of people, not that the winner gets the most votes.
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DL717
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Re: Rank Choice Voting, Yea or Nay?

Fri May 24, 2019 1:03 am

Each party should have a candidate in a general election. Ranked choice in heavily leaning states, regardless the direction, makes the other party’s (left, right or other for that matter) completely irrelevant after the primary. Each party should be able to put up a candidate for the general election. If neither gets 50+1, then the two top vote getters should have a runoff because neither has a majority support.

For Presidential elections, I think the electoral college should be modified, but not to the extent some propose. First, each State needs a bipartisan panel to draw the districts. Each State already gets one elector for each member of the House and one for each Senate seat. If your house district goes to a given candidate, then that presidential candidate gets that elector. If someone wins the popular vote in that State by 50%+1, then they get both Senatorial electors in their state. If no one gets 50%+1 of the popular vote, the two senatorial electors are split between the top two vote getters. For example, a state has 30 reps in the house and 2 senators for a total of 32 electors. Electors are assigned by popular vote in each district. Top vote getter gets that elector. For example...30 districts get split 15 to 15, but one candidate gets more than 50% of the popular vote in that State. That candidate gets 2 additional electors, so the electors are split 17-15. They split 15-15 and neither wins the popular, they go 16-16. This also changes the election strategy and if you get a third party candidate that doesn’t get enough votes to win a state, they can still capture electors by winning in a district, changing the math to get to the White House. This method gives more credence to the popular vote concept while also protecting the concept of an election by the States. It also makes the candidates work for it. Election goes to the candidate that gets the most electors vs. a set number which is currently 270. With this format, someone can win with say 250 electors.
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einsteinboricua
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Re: Rank Choice Voting, Yea or Nay?

Fri May 24, 2019 5:59 am

DL717 wrote:
For Presidential elections, I think the electoral college should be modified, but not to the extent some propose. First, each State needs a bipartisan panel to draw the districts. Each State already gets one elector for each member of the House and one for each Senate seat. If your house district goes to a given candidate, then that presidential candidate gets that elector. If someone wins the popular vote in that State by 50%+1, then they get both Senatorial electors in their state. If no one gets 50%+1 of the popular vote, the two senatorial electors are split between the top two vote getters. For example, a state has 30 reps in the house and 2 senators for a total of 32 electors. Electors are assigned by popular vote in each district. Top vote getter gets that elector. For example...30 districts get split 15 to 15, but one candidate gets more than 50% of the popular vote in that State. That candidate gets 2 additional electors, so the electors are split 17-15. They split 15-15 and neither wins the popular, they go 16-16. This also changes the election strategy and if you get a third party candidate that doesn’t get enough votes to win a state, they can still capture electors by winning in a district, changing the math to get to the White House. This method gives more credence to the popular vote concept while also protecting the concept of an election by the States. It also makes the candidates work for it. Election goes to the candidate that gets the most electors vs. a set number which is currently 270. With this format, someone can win with say 250 electors.

In a perfect world, I would support this plan. But in today's world where districts are drawn to benefit one party over another, this is a recipe for disaster, even if a bipartisan panel comes up with the maps (in the end, rather than seek to eliminate seats, they'll seek to protect their incumbents so the districts will be safe ones regardless). I would much rather the EC votes be given by proportional distribution. That also places the onus on candidates to visit every state while maintaining the fairness of the election (i.e. no gerrymandered EC votes) and keeping true to the EC. A constitutional amendment may be the only way to force this, especially since there is so much animosity to the NPVIC.
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