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Republicans like ranked choice voting

Three things to think about this July 14th.

Unite America
July 14, 2022

A certain former Republican office-holder sided with Nevada Democrats in criticizing ranked choice voting on Saturday, during a campaign rally in Anchorage, Alaska.

That sentence alone is a reminder that Alaska's nonpartisan primary + ranked choice voting system — a similar one may be coming to Nevada soon, if voters there approve it —  is about the interests of all voters, not about advancing the interests of a particular political party or politician. 

While we're on the topic, though... here are a few reminders of how Republicans like ranked choice voting:

  1. Virginia

In Virginia's 8th, 10th, and 11th congressional districts, Republicans select their nominees by RCV. Here's what the 11th district GOP chairman had to say about it this year: “I think it’s a really good way of, A, having consensus and getting past that 50% mark, and B, just making it more of a party that’s unified behind a candidate because everyone had a voice in that candidate. … When you know that you need to have someone else’s supporters to keep you as their No. 2, a lot of the nastiness kind of goes away.”P.S., remember that Glenn Youngkin won the first round of gubernatorial balloting with just 33% last year — the sort of plurality result that would advance a nominee in a status-quo election and shut 67% of participating voters out. The state GOP’s model guaranteed a majority winner (Youngkin, with 55% instead of 33%, after the instant runoffs).P.P.S., three state GOP parties in all used RCV in statewide contests and several congressional contests run by the party in 2020-22.

  1. Utah

More than 20 municipalities in Republican-dominated Utah use ranked choice voting for local elections. A poll of voters there found that: 86% of RCV voters were satisfied with their experience; 81% of them reported that RCV was easy to use; 90% of them reported that RCV instructions were clear; and 63% of them reported that they liked using RCV.

  1. Wisconsin

Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI) called the bipartisan introduction of a ranked choice voting bill in Wisconsin "not just a good place to start, but a way for our state to revitalize its rich history in political innovation."

And a bonus bullet point!

  • Overseas military voters already use RCV ballots for elections in Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and South Carolina.

As Take Back Action's John Pudner wrote in Newsweek, Republican voters would benefit from Alaska-style election reform — since a majority of them in the primaries this year for Senate in Ohio and Pennsylvania, as well as the Nebraska governor's race (among others), did not choose the winning nominee. Read more from our friends at FairVote about this plurality-winning trend, which ranked choice voting would solve.