I read a “Reader’s View” from a fellow Carmel citizen in your Sept. 12 edition and offer my thoughts after researching the topic on ranked choice primary voting. Although the idea sounds easy/intriguing, before one thinks this will “save democracy,” it is necessary to understand it in more detail. A great deal of info is available online from trusted sources, and since I knew little about the topic, I did some research. Here’s what I found.
First, ranked choice voting is not used widely today in the U.S. in primary or general elections. It is used in some states for primaries, as the author suggests.
Second, ranked choice voting is not used anywhere in the world today on a widespread basis past local elections.
Third, I could find no country where the Borda count method is used today. It is done today on some university campuses.
Fourth, ranked choice voting is not seen as making anything easier, especially for older/younger people who often don’t take a lot of time to research their choices. It can be more difficult for elderly, those with limited travel resources or disabilities to handle additional time and energy to rank choice vote, which means they might become disenfranchised.
Fifth, it can be used to pit lesser known/lesser candidates against frontrunners, even if the front runner is the clear leader. This is often where outside money comes into play to sway voting.
Personally, I believe in one person, one vote. America still isn’t perfect, but I don’t believe ranked choice voting will help fix anything.
Dana Severs, Carmel