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A Crowded 2020 Presidential Primary Field Calls for Ranked Choice Voting


A Crowded 2020 Presidential Primary Field Calls for Ranked Choice Voting

Jamie Raskin, Rob Richie

With dozens of Democrats lining up to run for President in 2020, now is the time to adopt ranked choice voting in early states to guarantee that primary winners have clear majority support. Greater choices for voters is welcome, but crowded primaries can produce “winners” with less than 25 percent of the vote. Meantime, millions of Democratic voters could fail to elect any delegates at all because their candidate falls below the 15 percent qualifying threshold. Someone could easily win the nomination over the expressed opposition of most primary voters.


I applaud the Green Party being a leader in electoral reform and strong supporter of Ranked Choice Voting. Locally, the Pacific Greens organized around the issue of RCV and created the initiative to put it on our local county ballot a few years back. It won, and our Benton County elections (primarily county commissioners’ race) will be determined by RCV in 2020. However, I think there is every reason for the Democrats to support this voting system for picking their delegates in the coming Presidential (and Congressional) primaries. RCV expands our democracy, builds concensus, and is much more reflective of the will of the voters than the current system.


Ranked choice voting favors centrists. In the USA at this time, centrism implies corruption. The only way a politician would support such anti-worker and anti-people policies as what is defined as centrist is because they are on the take and represent donors and not the people. We do not need a new system that helps centrists. Plurality elections instead of majorities being required is the problem. Runoffs solve that problem - we do not need a different mechanism like ranked choice voting that disadvantages progressives.


This is twice now that I’ve noticed Common Dreams article not including Tulsi Gabbard, the peace and earth candidate.




The Washington Post and many others are jumping on Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) as a solution to our election woes. Why is RCV being pushed by mainstream media, as opposed to other more efficacious election systems? RCV will NOT disrupt the two party Cartel. STV and MMP are dangerous to the Cartel, and therefore cannot be allowed into the debate, the same as third party reps at Presidential debates.

RCV only solves the Spoiler Effect. RCV produces single-party rule, where one individual supposedly represents the views of everyone in their district. RCV has transfers from losing candidates only, and may waste as many as 49.99% of the votes in a district. It does not solve exclusion of minorities in Single Member Districts.

STV in Multi Member Districts solves more problems than RCV. STV outcomes represent the full spectrum of diversity in the community. STV demands compromise in a legislature. STV transfers from both winning and losing candidates with very few wasted votes. STV remedies concentrated power, the Spoiler Effect, completely disrupts Gerrymandering and includes previously excluded minorities. STV offers easy ballot access to candidates. Voters get more choice and accountability. STV is a scalable system for any size geography and population. About 95% of voters have one of their first three picks elected. Bringing back STV would seat every demographic group at the table.

Both systems could be implemented. Why expend the effort and money implementing RCV, an inferior solution that introduces new problems? Oh, right. To keep the Cartel in power. http://www.bestdemocracy.org/single-transferable-vote.html


I notices that, too. She should be included here.


And why was Tulsi Gabbard and the others who’ve come out running?!

Stacking the system already?



I assume you know what IRV (which is by far the most common way to process RCV ballots into a single winner) stands for, it’s Instant Runoff Voting. How is that you think conventional runoffs (which only grab the top 2 and depending on how the vote splitting went, a progressive might not make it to the top 2) give a better result than IRV? This is a complicated subject and there is much written on it, some of it debatable. But I haven’t come across your claim before - what is the source of your opinion?

We need to push this topic more - thanks to the authors of this piece on “The Hill” (a source I hardly ever look at and find most of the pieces pretty bad). I have to think more about this ‘stop at 15% idea’ for delegates and then still have some convention algorithm to handle the case where a majority of delegates are not had (we need an algorithm that absolutely doesn’t involve the idiotic idea of superdelagates).

My choice is perhaps too simple - one primary election, one day, all RCV ballots processed together. I’m open to other ideas to improve the primary as my idea will likely not happen soon.