Letters to the Editor

Rank Choice Voting answer to civil elections

This is a comment on the Nov. 9 Editorial: “Let’s work harder to have civility win, even when our candidates don’t.” Wishing that politicians would be more civil won’t make it happen. A proven method for doing so, is Ranked Choice Voting (RVC).

“RCV makes democracy more fair and functional... With ranked choice voting, voters can rank as many candidates as they want in order of choice. Candidates do best when they attract a strong core of first-choice support while also reaching out for second and even third choices. When used as an “instant runoff” to elect a single candidate like a mayor or a governor, RCV helps elect a candidate that better reflects the support of a majority of voters. When used as a form of fair representation voting to elect more than one candidate like a city council, state legislature or even Congress, RCV helps to more fairly represent the full spectrum of voters (fairvote.org)”.

More than 10 cities now use RCV. Two opinion polls showed that likely voters in cities that used RCV in their local elections in 2013 and 2014 were more satisfied with the conduct of candidate campaigns, and perceived less candidate criticism and negative campaigning in the lead up to their local elections.

Two bills in the 2018 Washington Legislature (HB2746 and SB6402) would have allowed cities to implement alternative voting systems like RCV. Ask your legislators to reintroduce these bills in 2019. The time is right to accomplish election reform!