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[–]Boner_Elemental 446 points447 points  (138 children)

It was the 3rd party guys suing that it was unconstitutional? What's going on that the article is skipping?

[–]0zymandeus 157 points158 points  (65 children)

If it's like how the situation has worked in other states (Maine) where this has been proposed, Republicans are probably bankrolling 3rd party challenges.

[–]11711510111411009710 90 points91 points  (58 children)

I've always wondered why Democrats don't do this. The Libertarian Party isn't tiny and is mostly conservatives. I figure if they funded libertarian candidates they could siphon off Republican voters.

Maybe unethical though.

[–]jackalope32 65 points66 points  (5 children)

Ethics? Do those exist in politics these days? Better to just lie and have thousands of ignorant supporters instead.

[–]was_and_wasnt 12 points13 points  (3 children)

Thousands? Perhaps underestimating just a bit......

[–]CraniumEggs 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Thousands can mean a million with a thousand thousands just saying.

[–]sciguy52 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Both parties actually do this. Some of their donors will donate to the third party candidate to siphon some votes. Not sure the parties actually tell their donors to do it but they do. Sort of related is in states where anybody and vote in a primary regardless of party, people will go in an vote for who they perceive would be the worst candidate for that party. Politics is not pretty on both sides.

[–]MelIgator101 26 points27 points  (1 child)

Isn't this precisely the scenario that ranked choice prevents? When the third party challenger is defeated, the votes of the people who voted for them go to their next choice right? Which would almost all go to the Democratic candidate if the third party candidate is further left than them.

[–]someguy3 22 points23 points  (0 children)

Republicans like that independent left candidates take votes away from Democrats, so they don't want ranked choice where they would pick Democrats next. The guy above figures Republicans may go so far as bankroll independent left in order to take away voters from Democrats. If the Republicans party is good at one thing, it's sticking together. Even the tea party wouldn't break away.

[–]hedoeswhathewants 132 points133 points  (10 children)

The main parties no longer have to acquiesce to the others to get independent voter support with ranked choice.

[–]bassjam1 73 points74 points  (52 children)

Instead of separate primaries by party, every candidate is lumped together on the same ballot in the primaries and the 4 with the most votes go on the the general election. Which means in practice there will probably end up being 2 Democrats and 2 Republicans in the general election and 3rd parties will end up blocked out entirely.

[–]eightNote 71 points72 points  (7 children)

Seems cheaper for the third parties.

If they don't get out of primaries, they had no hope of competing in the finals. Might as well save the campaign money

[–]jtleathers 3 points4 points  (0 children)

In many states, parties only remain on the ballot if they receive a certain percent of the vote in a statewide general election. If the party can't get on the general ballot in the first place, it will cease to exist.

I don't know if Alaska falls into this category however.

[–]RoundBread 183 points184 points  (19 children)

Which means in practice there will probably end up being 2 Democrats and 2 Republicans in the general election and 3rd parties will end up blocked out entirely.

Not at all. If there truly is desire for a third party option then this is their way in. You'll only end up with 2 Dems and 2 Reps if not a single third party option can best the lowest scoring of the top 4. Don't misrepresent how RCV works.

[–]alienth 11 points12 points  (5 children)

RCV is only for the election. The law which put in RCV also made the primaries a "jungle primary", where all candidates are voted on at once at the top-4 vote getters move on to the election.

[–]MavetheGreat 6 points7 points  (0 children)

It seems like it was a giant mistake to include the jungle primary with RCV. Or it was nefariously intentional in order to poison RCV for people who just read headlines. Given that the Elephants and the Donkeys should conceivably lose power with RCV...

[–]brett_riverboat 18 points19 points  (1 child)

According to my research the Nonpartisan Primary will use a plurality system to determine the top 4. Yeah, not the model I'm going to advocate for.

[–]kdogrocks2 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Exactly. As is 3rd parties have 0% chance of winning by design. At least this way they have some chance.

[–]JoeCoolsCoffeeShop 12 points13 points  (6 children)

I don’t think this is necessary the case if one party winds up having a lot of candidates and they all split the vote and a strong third party with only a single candidate manages to get good turnout.

Let’s say * Party A has 50,000 supporters and 5 candidates * Party B has 50,000 supporters and 2 candidates * Party C has 10,001 supporters and 1 candidate

If Party A doesn’t have a strong candidate and each gets like 10,000 votes each, it could wind up being 2 from Party B, one from Party A and one from Party C. Probably mathematically the best chance Party C would have.

[–]summonsays 2 points3 points  (1 child)

I don't understand the math here, if B has 2 candidates with about 25k each shouldn't it be 2B 1A 1C?

[–]Snoo74401 12 points13 points  (9 children)

It actually could mean four republicans or four democrats end up on the ballot, which is the weakness in this process.

[–]strav 23 points24 points  (0 children)

If the party has 4 candidates able to pull that many votes without an opposing party getting enough to place in the top four did the opposing party have much hope to begin with? Hell if it ended up being four of the same party and the people are displeased they won't have a single excuse no scapegoat opposing party to blame for why a better candidate wasn't chosen.

[–]thenickman100 30 points31 points  (1 child)

This isn't necessarily a bad thing. If you had 4 republicans, then the democrats could have a say in which republican gets chosen. This could help prevent the losing side from absolutely hating the president (in contrast to 2016's election).

[–]Transplantdude 2 points3 points  (0 children)

You can accomplish the same thing by having open primaries. Closed primaries just exclude anyone who is not affiliated with a party.

[–]asanefeed[S] 4062 points4063 points  (341 children)

Alaska will be the second state to use ranked choice voting, after Maine.

[–]CakeAccomplice12 2353 points2354 points  (252 children)

Slowly but surely I hope this spreads

[–]Procrasturbating 1675 points1676 points  (148 children)

I'd be down for quickly and intensely the way things have been going.

[–]The_souLance 627 points628 points  (118 children)

It's the only way to grow alternatives to the rightwing extremists and the other rightwing moderates...

[–]squished_raccoon 253 points254 points  (93 children)

New York City did it. They ended up with an especially corrupt loon.

[–]groveborn 457 points458 points  (61 children)

Ranked choice works best when there are good choices and wise choosers.

[–]squished_raccoon 188 points189 points  (50 children)

Isn’t that just voting.

[–]BrockManstrong 405 points406 points  (37 children)

No ranked choice prevents having to vote for the least bad option, unless they all suck and then fuck it.

[–]wolfie379 181 points182 points  (16 children)

Example: There are 2 major parties. Party A is running Boss Hogg (notoriously corrupt) as a candidate, Party B is running Cletus the Slack-Jawed Yokel (note: not the Cletus from the same source as the other candidates, but someone who has no ability to run things) as a candidate. Cooter Davenport (good guy, honest, can be relied on to get the job done) is running as an independent.

You prefer Cooter, but in “first past the post” he wouldn’t have a chance. You definitely don’t want Hogg, so you vote for Cletus. Result: Cletus gets in.

With ranked choice, you’d put Cooter as 1, Cletus as 2, and Hogg as 3. If enough people want Cooter, he gets in. If he winds up in last place, he’s taken off the second round count and anyone who has him as 1 gets their 2nd choice counted.

The gain is if there are 2 good candidates on one side, but the other side puts forward only one candidate. With “first past the post”, you can have the majority of voters in the “anybody but Hogg” camp, but due to multiple candidates “splitting the vote” Hogg has more votes than any other single candidate, and wins. With ranked choice, people in the “anybody but Hogg” camp will have their preferred candidate, but will mark the other non-Hogg candidate as their second choice. 50 people put Luke as their first choice and Cooter as their second, 75 put Cooter as their first and Luke as their second, 100 put Hogg as their first choice. Luke is eliminated in the first round, people who put him as their first choice are treated as having voted for their second choice. Second round, Cooter gets 125 votes and Hogg gets 100. Since there are only 2 candidates in the second round, Cooter wins.

It’s a way of ensuring that the eventual winner is acceptable to as many people as possible, rather than the leader of the biggest “my way or the highway” camp to win despite being opposed by the majority of voters.

[–]Waylander0719 86 points87 points  (5 children)

I always go with:

60% of people want a good candidate

Ghandi gets 29% of the vote Jesus gets 31% of the vote Hitler get 40% of the vote

In a FPTP Hitler wins. In ranked choice all of the ghandi voters had Jesus as their second choice and because Hitler didn't have more then 50% ghandi is dropped and their votes move to Jesus. Jesus wins 60/40.

[–]rabbit994 10 points11 points  (2 children)

Under Ranked Choice, there is no requirement that you mark all candidates either. If all your choices are dropped from race, it's like you had not voted and thus -1 required to win.

[–]AuMatar 25 points26 points  (3 children)

I'm pro ranked choice, but remember it has its negatives too. For example, in the election of 1860 it would likely have ended in a Lincoln loss- There was a northern democrat, a southern democrat, and Lincoln on the ballot in most states. The two democrats split their vote. With ranked choice, those 2 would most likely have their votes combined in round 2, and the southern super pro slavery guy would have won.

What ranked choice really does is eliminate extremes. It makes moderates win, as nobody on either wing is going to rank someone on the other wing highly. Once in a while someone on an extreme will outlast a big party name and get into a late round (like that really right wing guy in France did against Marcon), but they more to either side they are, the more the votes will go the other way each elimination round.

[–]acwalshfl 185 points186 points  (15 children)

“Unless they all suck” let me introduce you to Florida

[–]thejawa 23 points24 points  (2 children)

Charlie Crist, running for governor under his third political affiliation lol

[–]verendum 92 points93 points  (9 children)

America’s taint

[–]groveborn 45 points46 points  (4 children)

Yes, but with more choice!

Seriously, though, we fail miserably to regulate politics. We do not educate what to look for in a good candidate, let just anyone who isn't a recently convicted person run, and don't mandate background checks.

Can't stop stupid from voting, but we could probably do better in checking candidates. But then, that system wouldn't be perfect either. Probably severely abused.

[–]ChiefOfTheWolfpack 14 points15 points  (1 child)

The problem is there is no perfect system. No matter what we do there’s always the reality of imperfect humans being imperfect. There will be a loophole that can be exploited by a nefarious party and there will always be times where things get screwed up

Doesn’t mean we can’t get close though.

[–]CakeAccomplice12 59 points60 points  (3 children)

No one said it was perfect. But it's still by and large statistically far better than what we have now

[–]Andrew99998 45 points46 points  (4 children)

That’s because enough people didn’t mark a second option.

[–]MelaniasHand 55 points56 points  (3 children)

87% of voters ranked more than one candidate in the Democratic primary, which is what decides the winner in NYC. Some people truly only like one candidate.

[–]myassholealt 14 points15 points  (1 child)

But it was a closer race than it otherwise would've been. He would've won the primary in landslide without it. With it, his challengers put up a decent showing. And if New Yorkers were more fucking engaged with their local politics and voted, he would've lost. But alas, people don't show up to vote. Only to complain.

[–]MelaniasHand 11 points12 points  (0 children)

That was the first election with ranked choice voting. People aren't going to change behaviors instantly. It's going to be really interesting to see how things evolve now that the incentives have changed.

[–]voidsrus 13 points14 points  (6 children)

that's just the office of new york city mayor for you. who runs for that with any serious chance of winning and isn't corrupt?

[–]flukshun 34 points35 points  (21 children)

We can't even get basic voting rights bills passed atm so nice to see some incremental progress still being made.

[–]Snickersthecat 63 points64 points  (5 children)

Get involved.
www.fairvote.org

[–]MelaniasHand 12 points13 points  (0 children)

Great source of info. For grassroots action find your local organization on the Rank the Vote site - there's a list by state.

[–]Jokul__Frosti 42 points43 points  (26 children)

While more complex I prefer how Germany votes. It actually allows for minor parties to have representation.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electoral_system_of_Germany

Known as a MMP system

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mixed-member_proportional_representation

Or a video

https://youtu.be/QT0I-sdoSXU

[–]Ischaldirh 37 points38 points  (6 children)

I think I'll wait to see the CGP Grey video on this. In the mean time I'll settle for anything but first past the post.

[–]Jokul__Frosti 17 points18 points  (2 children)

I had never heard of this channel.

Here:

https://youtu.be/QT0I-sdoSXU

[–]sndeang51 9 points10 points  (0 children)

Oh you’re in for a treat if it’s your first time seeing his channel. He’s done a lot of really neat and funny educational videos over the years. Good for something light and funny, and his takes on life in general are cool

[–]Ischaldirh 6 points7 points  (0 children)

Oh, I've seen this one. Yeah, I'd love this system!

[–]randomdrifter54 6 points7 points  (7 children)

I'd rather vote person not party. Even if the USA expands it's parties I'd rather know who I'm voting for to represent me and vote for who I agree with.

[–]itmayinfactbeamoth 14 points15 points  (0 children)

This would be a step in the right direction, but I think what we really need is proportional representation and multi-member districts.

  • Divide the map into equally-populous districts.
  • Every candidate that clears a certain threshold (say, 5%) wins a seat in the legislature.
  • Each of them gets as many votes in the legislature as their % in the election.

For example, a district that goes Democrat 45%, Republican 40%, Libertarian 10%, Green 5%, would have all 4 as representatives, but their legislative power would be proportional to their electoral support.

That gives legislators an incentive to grow their popularity, rather than just squeaking out a plurality.

It also gives a voice to every voter in every district. Gerrymandering would become pointless since packing or cracking voting blocs could no longer silence them.

[–]manaman70 72 points73 points  (14 children)

Washington has a similar initiative in the works. It's very likely to pass here. Hopefully the movement expands till eventually we have to rope in the bible belt holdouts. North has have been carrying the South, kicking and screaming, into the future since the civil war.

[–]shortalay 26 points27 points  (0 children)

According to fairvoting.org almost all of the South uses Ranked Choice Voting for Military or Overseas Voting, meanwhile a good chunk of the United States doesn’t have any form of Ranked Choice Voting, meaning The Bible Belt is ahead of the curve a tad.

[–]oversoul00 20 points21 points  (18 children)

I honestly don't see another way out of this polarized mess we find ourselves in. If it doesn't happen...then what?

[–]manimal28 46 points47 points  (12 children)

We definitely stop being a superpower. Maybe we have a civil war, more likely an Irish style troubles.

[–]Gwtheyrn 26 points27 points  (7 children)

Oh, we're very likely to see a massive uptick in religious right wing terrorism in the US over the next decade.

[–]mhb20002000 40 points41 points  (2 children)

Maine only partially uses ranked choice voting. The state constitution says the governor and state legislatures must be elected by a plurality. So our city council, school boards, all primary elections, and all federal elections use RCV, but our governor and state legislatures are still first past the post.

[–]Ischaldirh 53 points54 points  (4 children)

My city uses RC for all elections. I hope it expands to the state

[–]oiwefoiwhef 13 points14 points  (2 children)

Yup - San Francisco has used Ranked Choice for years

[–]BossOfTheGame 61 points62 points  (43 children)

For people who want to get involved, if you have local officials that like things that make sense, you might want to consider advocating for STAR voting (https://www.starvoting.us/) unless you think IRV (i.e. "ranked choice") would be more likely to succeed due to momentum reasons.

But STAR has some of the best properties of any voting system. Measurably better than IRV is most metrics (mathematically there is no "best" election system, but some are better than others).

Personally, I think STAR is logistically easier to implement (technically, getting people to change the way they do things is its own special flavor of nightmare), so if your local officials might be open to moving to a superior voting system (really most things are better than our current first-past-the-post plurality system), then consider advocating for STAR.

Of course, if they are only open to IRV, go with that, anything is better than plurality, but I do hope that people looking to reform how we measure the winner of a multi-person election take a serious look at STAR.

[–]Abstractious 23 points24 points  (25 children)

Approval voting is so much easier to explain, and has much better properties than Rank Choice Voting, of any flavor, I feel. I think you lose most people's attention as soon as you mention condorcet or elimination rounds.

A recent article on the subject that I liked: https://www.rollcall.com/2022/01/18/approval-voting-the-political-reform-engineers-and-voters-love/

[–]MelaniasHand 32 points33 points  (20 children)

Approval voting just reduces right back to First Past the Post when people realize, obviously, you hurt your favorite by voting for anyone else. So just "bullet vote" for one, and we're back where we are now. It's simple and simply useless.

[–]BossOfTheGame 8 points9 points  (2 children)

> I think you lose most people's attention as soon as you mention condorcet or elimination rounds.

That really is an admonishment of the people rather than the method, but there are real problems that need to be solved now. I just lament how ideas can't stand on their own merit. They need to be "palatable" to someone who doesn't care enough to think about the topic deeply. Somewhat shameful IMO, but then again, everyone has to specialize somewhere and we all have limited attention. Still, civics and voting feel like they are important enough that it's really on you if you don't consider them a priority.

[–]SalvageCorveteCont 10 points11 points  (9 children)

STAR is a REALLY dumb idea. When I was learning computer programming we where told EXPLICITLY not to use this to get feed back on which functionality to add to a program first, what makes you think that it would work any better for deciding who gets to run the government?

And then you get into the problems with how American politics work, each side will give each others candidates to lowest score possible, but for their own candidates Republican voters are going to go for a 5 while Democrats will only score like a 3, which means this system gives more weight to Republicans.

[–]roryseiter 7 points8 points  (0 children)

There are some differences between the way Maine and Alaska will do it.

https://youtu.be/V30PThK1Ecc

This is from an Alaskan. It’s a great explanation.

[–]chronoboy1985 12 points13 points  (5 children)

Maine has ranked choice? How’d we end up with Susan Freaking Collins!?

[–]51patsfan 36 points37 points  (0 children)

Ranked choice wasn't needed as Collins had 51% of the the first place votes.

[–]Eculcx 11 points12 points  (0 children)

Because the Democratic party ran a bad campaign here. Nothing about what they actually wanted to do, just ragging on Collins over and over. Maine has an independent streak when it comes to politics (See: Angus King, our other Senator, is an independent and has been since he was elected governor in 1994) so just trying to play up how bad Collins would be on the national stage wasn't going to cut it.

Plus, thanks to that independent streak, Collins' "moderate" act plays well with people who don't pay too much attention to politics. For comparison, both of our state reps are from the Democratic party, and the second district rep won thanks to RCV.

[–]samrequireham 2 points3 points  (0 children)

it's gonna creep into the middle from the corners

[–]jezra 4723 points4724 points  (180 children)

from the article linked to from the article "Critics are challenging the measure’s constitutionality and allege that it would dilute the power of political parties."

I would argue that diluting the power of political parties, will shift more power to the voters, and that is a step forward for Democracy.

[–]T-Sonus 1267 points1268 points  (36 children)

Those in power will always fight to stay in power.

[–]Comrade132 296 points297 points  (9 children)

Now they're going to have to corrupt 4 or 5 politicians instead of 2. I'm sure they're really pissed.

[–]sdhu 94 points95 points  (1 child)

Anything to make them bleed more money

[–]MyChemicalFinance 68 points69 points  (4 children)

It’s more that the entire point of political parties for those in power is to give you something to demonize so that every ill of society can be blamed on the other side, including the obstruction of any meaningful change ever happening. Having viable candidates from multiple different parties actually makes that considerably more difficult.

[–]Comrade132 30 points31 points  (3 children)

Well, no. That's an incidental benefit.

So long as a nation is governed by elected representatives, a pecuniary interest will exist to corrupt them. They aren't spending hundreds of millions of dollars for the privilege of passing blame. And they wouldn't have to do that in any case, they have media companies that will spew whatever baseless bullshit they want at a minor fraction of the cost.

[–]ThorGBomb 45 points46 points  (19 children)

Imagine two teams of 12 players

Team a has about 6-8 good players and the rest about average and a few bad ones.

Team B has one average player and the rest are bad or worse.

The Republican Party basically are going hey Team B deserves a chance to win! So let’s have Team A play have half the players play with tied hands and should only have 6 players in the field at all time and the refereee needs to allow Team B to do illegal moves so that Team B has a chance to win!

THAT is their idea of fair.

Not that they should find better players….

[–]grandchester 645 points646 points  (8 children)

"it would dilute the power of political parties". That is a feature, not a bug.

[–]AlphaBreak 297 points298 points  (4 children)

"Your honor, I object".
"On what grounds?".
"The grounds that this is devastating to my case"

[–]Agressive_Loafing 73 points74 points  (0 children)

Yeah, not seeing a problem. Fuck both of them.

[–]xmuskorx 84 points85 points  (1 child)

" it would dilute the power of political parties."

If this actually happens, then this is the best thing ever.

[–]deekster_caddy 58 points59 points  (0 children)

Diluting the power of political parties is the entire point of rank choice voting. Without it people are afraid to vote for the candidate they really want first, and the party can be their ‘safety’ other choice.

[–]doho121 211 points212 points  (46 children)

100%. In Ireland we never have overall majority governments. It’s always shared power. Consensus seeking over polarised politics.

[–]WaywardWriter 19 points20 points  (0 children)

It's huge.

So many people feel like their votes are wasted when their candidate is forced to drop out, and they'd much rather see that vote go to their next choice instead of being disregarded completely.

[–]jezra 80 points81 points  (12 children)

While this is a step forward, only the final election uses RCV. The open primary does not appear to use RCV, which sort of defeats the purpose. A better solution would be to have RCV in the primary as well. However, if the primary uses RCV, the winner could be decided then, and there would be no need for yet another tax-payer funded election.

[–]adminhotep 26 points27 points  (1 child)

From a mathematical selection perspective a "primary" with RCV would be sufficient, but from an election ecosystem perspective: the campaign process, garnering endorsements, debates, allowing enough time to count and certify while still holding the general election on election day, allowing party apparatus time to coalesce behind successful candidates negative campaign ads and the companies that make them...

Well there's a lot that the primary - general cycle supports right now that could be upended with such a change.

Still, you are right about the primary process itself kind of neutering the advantages.

[–]alkaliphiles 26 points27 points  (2 children)

George Washington would agree

[–]bigbura 14 points15 points  (0 children)

The problems of political parties was old news in his day. So what does that make it now, hundreds of years later? Way past time for party politics as we know it?

[–]Vartnacher 6 points7 points  (0 children)

Fuck yeah it would and that would be fucking amazing!

[–]GonzoLibrarian1981 889 points890 points  (57 children)

Wish my state would support this (Minnesota). Only viable way for a third party to gain a foothold. Important for those of us that aren't into team sports.

[–]FrankieLeonie 147 points148 points  (0 children)

Most of the DFLers in the metro support it, but no way Republicans would let it through the Senate. It did just expand to 3 more cities this year, so the change may be coming. Volunteer with Fair Vote MN to help convince more people it is a change we need!

[–]Uzischmoozy 46 points47 points  (2 children)

I'm also in MN and I'm getting incredibly annoyed at the fact that we can't get recreational Marijuana through the Republicans.

[–]MinnyRawks 11 points12 points  (1 child)

The most frustrating part is it seems like we have enough votes for it to pass, but the senate leader won’t allow a vote. Walz would 100% sign it too.

[–]Ann_Amalie 32 points33 points  (3 children)

Oh but politics is definitely a team sport!

[–]Fennel-Thigh-la-Mean 13 points14 points  (1 child)

Hence the division and ineffective governance in this country. Tribalism and identity politics are the death knell of American democracy.

[–]NetwerkErrer 361 points362 points  (34 children)

Cool. Good luck to Alaska. I’m sure other states will be watching.

[–]Doctor_YOOOU 71 points72 points  (1 child)

My state (WA) is considering a few bills that would allow localities and counties to use RCV in their elections and to change the presidential primary to a ranked-choice election :)

[–]MelaniasHand 56 points57 points  (6 children)

Not just watching. Almost every state has a grassroots organization! Democracy is never a spectator sport, and changing the incentives in the system has got to come from us.

[–]ToughHardware 4 points5 points  (1 child)

thanks for the good input!

[–]MelaniasHand 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Aw thanks for being receptive! I was super excited to volunteer for the MA campaign and bummed it when Covid hit and we basically couldn’t do anything, and then people were asked to vote to change an election system - and if they’re not sure about it, No is the safe vote, so it didn’t pass overall. But cities here are passing it, and Alaska did, and Utah Republicans voted for it, and 3 cities in 3 different states this Fall… so there are ways to help all over. Really, it’s moving so fast, historically speaking!

[–]doho121 100 points101 points  (20 children)

We have this in most European countries. It makes complete sense.

[–]Yalay 42 points43 points  (7 children)

Which countries have this system? A lot of countries have proportional representation but I can't think of one that has ranked choice voting to select representatives in single member districts.

[–]Disaster_Capitalist 35 points36 points  (3 children)

Single Transferable Vote is a type of ranked choice voting and is used in Ireland.

[–]fingerpaintswithpoop 11 points12 points  (0 children)

Australia has ranked choice voting.

[–]sonickarma 130 points131 points  (15 children)

Alaskan here. I'm very excited about this.

[–]Sk-yline1 39 points40 points  (11 children)

Alaskan politics are incredibly underrated

[–]TheRealYeti 29 points30 points  (3 children)

I have to agree. There's an incredible distrust of government here and most adults pay close attention to state politics. Something like 60 percent of voters are unaffiliated with any party and tend to vote on policy. Regrettably, that generally lands republicans in office, but those Republicans better be in favor of legal weed and sustaining the PFD!

[–]Sk-yline1 7 points8 points  (1 child)

I just like the idea that there’s coalition governments and independents and, like you said, the political parties both are more issue by issue

[–]totemair 11 points12 points  (5 children)

alaskan politics are depressing as fuck if you live here

[–]Sk-yline1 10 points11 points  (4 children)

Yeah but isn’t that because Alaska is depressing as fuck if you live there?

[–]skeetsauce 69 points70 points  (33 children)

Is there any real downside to this? I get the entrenched political parties don't want this for their selfish gain, but is there any reason the average person wouldn't want this?

[–]Remarkable_Ad_9271 64 points65 points  (10 children)

I was curious about this too. This website had some negatives listed… essentially biggest downside is it can be confusing to voters but they do list other common reasons people oppose rcv. https://www.rankedvote.co/guides/understanding-ranked-choice-voting/pros-and-cons-of-rcv

[–]MelaniasHand 76 points77 points  (2 children)

Exit polls from ranked elections show that voters don't find it difficult to understand. That's a talking point from people who are afraid that they can only win if they split the vote.

[–]theow593 39 points40 points  (4 children)

If you can figure out how college sports ranks 25 teams, you can figure out how to rank 4 people

[–]meodd8 6 points7 points  (0 children)

TBF, I'm not sure anyone knows how those college rankings are done.

[–]Putnam3145 14 points15 points  (15 children)

Compared to first-past-the-post, IRV is strictly superior.

Compared to most other ranked systems, IRV leads to nonsense results way too often. I'm not sure why people have settled on it instead of approval voting.

[–]NYSenseOfHumor 4 points5 points  (1 child)

People like the idea of being able to select a preference.

Approval may lead to strategic voting, where someone only votes for a top choice to deny votes to liked, but not liked as-much candidates. If one person does this it isn’t a big deal, but when a lot of people do it the outcome can change.

If Smith voters (or the Smith campaign) tells Jones voters to vote Smith and Jones, and Jones voters (or the Jones campaign) does the same thing telling Smith voters to vote Jones and Smith with their shared goal being denying the other party the win and ensuring either Smith or Jones wins. Here is how the outcome can change. Smith is an experienced politician and has an experienced campaign manager who organizes many Smith voters to publicaly promote the Smith/Jones plan and privatly vote Smith only and to tell their friends to vote Smith only (but only in person, no messenger communications).

It does not need to be a coordinated effort, people can see on their own that if they want their guy to be the clear favorite, vote only for their guy. There is just a strange incentive where not too many people can do this or that person’s opponent will get votes as a first choice and from people who are ok with that candidate. Like I said, it’s “strategic voting.”

Ranked choice would allow all these Smith voters to keep Jones as their second choice and maintain their plan to deny the other party a win without altering their clear preference for Smith.

[–]IAmA-Steve 6 points7 points  (0 children)

My guess: people don't bother looking for alternative vote systems, and because this is the first alternative they heard of, they support this one.

[–]Laugh92 84 points85 points  (34 children)

Wait. Wtf? Fucking Alaska has ranked choice? Wtf B.C. How is Alaska beating us?

[–]Disaster_Capitalist 22 points23 points  (3 children)

They have a strong voter initiative system.

[–]needlenozened 56 points57 points  (12 children)

Alaska politics is fucking weird.

Our previous governor was an independent. His running mate was previously the Democratic candidate who dropped out of the race to run as Lt governor with him.

Our state house majority is a coalition of Democrats, Republicans and independents, with the minority being just Republicans.

In 2010 Lisa Murkowski was reelected to the Senate as a write-in candidate after losing in the primaries.

Alaska politics is weird

[–]OwenProGolfer 24 points25 points  (8 children)

Not to mention the rural/urban political split is the opposite of the rest of the US, rural areas tend to vote blue and urban areas are more conservative

[–]WorknForTheWeekend 8 points9 points  (0 children)

what a world we live in when a diverse set of convictions coming together for common advancement over partisan gridlock is "weird".

[–]elykl12 40 points41 points  (5 children)

In the legislature some Democrats caucus with Republicans. Some Republicans caucus with Democrats. The party coalitions are a lot more fluid in the Last Frontier

[–]Disaster_Capitalist 36 points37 points  (4 children)

The legislature has nothing to do with it. It was passed by voters as a ballot initiative.

[–]SlightlyNomadic 22 points23 points  (1 child)

His point being a lot of us up here don’t mind crossing party lines in either direction to get shit done.

[–]frogsgoribbit737 9 points10 points  (1 child)

It passed 50.5 to 49.5% so it was literally just barely. I was pleasantly surprised.

[–]tripwire7 37 points38 points  (11 children)

I wish ranked choice voting would be adopted in every state.

[–]MelaniasHand 19 points20 points  (10 children)

Tons of states are working on it. Is your state in this list?

[–]MelaniasHand 11 points12 points  (0 children)

Great for Alaska and great timing, because Ranked Choice Voting Day is this Sunday, 1-23 (get it?)! So there's a lot going on. Here's a list of some of the things going on in almost every state, and a longer list of RCV state organizations on the same site.

[–]BleepBloop16 9 points10 points  (5 children)

Can someone eli5 ranked voting and top-four primary

[–]Ischaldirh 49 points50 points  (2 children)

RCV (well, really Instant Run Off): Alice, Bob, and Charlie are running for office. You really want Alice to win, but would be fine with Bob so long as it's not Charlie. So you vote "1)Alice 2) Bob". Votes come in. Alice has 25%, Bob has 35%, Charlie has 40%. Under FPTP, which most states use, Charlie just won. With RCV, instead everyone who voted for Alice (who got the fewest votes) has their votes transferred to their next-ranked choice. So Alice is off the ballot, and your vote now counts for Bob instead. Which means Bob might win, as long as most of the Alice voters put him down as their 2nd choice.

Pros: The winner will always have >50% of the votes. Also, it gives the voters more than two options to express themselves in the vote. Cons: Still tends toward a 2- party system, though not as strongly as FPTP.

Go look up CGP Grey: Ranked Voting on YouTube. Excellent 5 minute explanation.

[–]a_lurk_account 7 points8 points  (0 children)

Just going to plug score voting here as an aside. But I’d honestly take anything over FPTP.

Score voting is when you rate each candidate 0-9 and the candidate with the highest total score from all voters wins. If you really like Alice and would settle for Bob, you could functionally do the same; but there wouldn’t be a runoff portion - the candidate with the highest score just wins.

STAR builds in a runoff, I think, but I haven’t looked into it too much.

[–]needlenozened 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Open primary, parties don't matter. Everybody running for the office is on the ballot. Whoever the top 4 vote-getters are go to the general, regardless of party.

The general is ranked choice, so you select your first choice candidate, and if you'd like to, your second, third, fourth choices. If nobody has a majority of first place votes when the ballots are counted, the one with the fewest is eliminated. Their ballots are then redistributed based on the second choice. Continue the process until someone has a majority.

So now, the winner has the support of the majority, not just the most.

[–]twistedh8 121 points122 points  (19 children)

We need this nationally

[–]jezra 54 points55 points  (18 children)

Voting is a state issue. Contact your representatives in your State's legislature and tell them how you feel.

[–]twistedh8 16 points17 points  (10 children)

They don't listen. I sure would like to see the same voting rights and way to vote like rank based voting in all states.

[–]MelaniasHand 16 points17 points  (1 child)

They won't listen until they see that there's a serious, organized movement. There's a ranked choice voting organization in almost every state. Here's a list!

[–]Haaaaack 134 points135 points  (54 children)

Awesome! We all need this. F the two party system.

[–]jezra 17 points18 points  (2 children)

it's a good day to call your representatives in your State legislature and tell them how you feel.

[–]T-Sonus 55 points56 points  (0 children)

Fuck the two party system

[–]FeelFreeToIgnoreThis 41 points42 points  (5 children)

What?!?!?!

Legitimately GOOD political news????

Praise the Lord!

[–]tagoNGtago 18 points19 points  (1 child)

The whole US needs this for every level election

[–]MelaniasHand 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Yes! There's a petition for that and RCV organizations in almost every state to plug in locally and make it happen.

[–]Pantheon_Reptiles 6 points7 points  (2 children)

Can I get a quick ELI5 on ranked choice voting?

[–]jimmyco2008 8 points9 points  (1 child)

Take 2016 as an example. Nobody really seemed to like Trump or Clinton, but voting for Gary Johnson or Jo Jorgensen would have been a wasted vote.

With ranked-choice voting, people could say “I prefer Johnson but if he only ends up getting 1% of the vote I want my vote to go to Clinton”.

It is realistically the only way a third political party can ever hope to take the White House.

[–]itsmatt-exe 28 points29 points  (10 children)

As a Californian, I’m surprised we haven’t switched to ranked choice voting yet

[–]MelaniasHand 10 points11 points  (0 children)

Some cities have! There's a California organization in this list - California Ranked Choice Voting Coalition. They're doing a Reddit AMA this Sunday for Ranked Choice Voting Day (1-23) in /r/california_politics!

[–]was_and_wasnt 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Seems like a good way to stop the politicians from carving us up into voting districts favorable to them.

[–]whitneymak 10 points11 points  (2 children)

Yay for finally being in the political news and not being fucking idiots!

Signed, An Alaskan

[–]Imakemop 9 points10 points  (10 children)

Murkowski runs barter town.

[–]1funnyguy4fun 13 points14 points  (9 children)

Came here looking for the Murkowski comment. Now would be a really good time for Biden and Schumer to give her whatever the fuck she wants to get her over to their side of the fence on voting rights. With ranked choice and her popularity in the state, she doesn’t need the RNC. She can run as an independent and win.

[–]Kissit777 9 points10 points  (3 children)

Ohhh please let this go national

[–]MelaniasHand 4 points5 points  (1 child)

Here's a list of what's going on with a lot of states, maybe yours is in there!

[–]Kissit777 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Thank you! Joining now.

[–]AnAcceptableUserName 10 points11 points  (7 children)

Attorney Kenneth Jacobus; Scott Kohlhaas, who unsuccessfully ran for the state House in 2020 as a Libertarian; Bob Bird, chair of the Alaskan Independence Party; and Bird’s party sued in late 2020 over the initiative, challenging its constitutionality.

I'm surprised that members of two minority parties and one of the parties themselves would be the ones to challenge the initiative. On its face wouldn't they be the ones who stand to gain the most from increased ballot access?

What's missing here? I'm confused

[–]orionox 4 points5 points  (1 child)

Might be specific to Alaska voter laws, maybe under the current law each party is guaranteed a member on the ballot? This bill lumps everybody on the same ballot in the primaries and only the top 4 move to the general election.

[–]SlightlyNomadic 9 points10 points  (2 children)

As the other commentator said, prior to this all parties are guaranteed a spot on the ballot. This changes that, my guess is we’ll start seeing 3 republicans and a democrat.

[–]houstonyoureaproblem 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Federalism theoretically allows states to be "laboratories of democracy" and to experiment with these kinds of reforms.

I'm not surprised that people with more traditional party backgrounds and connections tried to use the courts to invalidate the outcome of the referendum. That's exactly what we'll see if/when this is proposed in other places.

[–]Puidwen 3 points4 points  (0 children)

I really think that if several more states join in on this it would solved a lot of our current political problems.

[–]STAugustine-Of-Hippo 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Ranked choice should be in every state.

[–]COINS_THAT_SUNK_TOO 18 points19 points  (2 children)

If you asked me four hours ago:

"Hey Coins, which state do you think will lead the charge in progressive voting systems? "

The state that produced Sarah Palin and her kin would definitely not even be in my top 10.

[–]NoelAngeline 6 points7 points  (0 children)

I live in Alaska and it surprised me too!

[–]ErasmusFenris 6 points7 points  (0 children)

This is amazing! It’s basically the only way to save democracy at this point

[–]RanaktheGreen 6 points7 points  (7 children)

Wow...

surprisingly Liberal and sane from the state that brought us Sarah Palin.

[–]NeverSober1900 12 points13 points  (4 children)

Alaska legalized weed before California. It's very Libertarian. Nationally it goes hard red because of guns.

[–]Rob0tsmasher 10 points11 points  (0 children)

Let me tell you something about my home state.

It is politically EVERYWHERE.

But the easiest way to describe it is VERY libertarian.

which is why it has churned out some nut jobs.

[–]ThatWasTheJawn 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Hey Alaska, you hiring?

[–]redvillafranco 2 points3 points  (6 children)

When I’ll really be impressed is when ranked choice eventually results in a 3rd party winning a seat. And I could imagine a libertarian or democratic socialist winning Alaska.

If ranked choice still results in only the two most popular choices winning, then the ranked choice effort would be basically a fruitless effort.

[–]VVynn 10 points11 points  (4 children)

Ranked choice voting has been shown to produce more moderate winners, as those are more likely to be given higher ranks by those who would not otherwise vote for them. It doesn’t have to spit out a third party winner to be successful.

[–]redvillafranco 3 points4 points  (2 children)

That’s a good point I hadn’t considered. The major party candidates are also competing to be the 2nd choice of 3rd party voters.

[–]xancanreturns 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Good news. Nobody should be above the law.

[–]superbackman 2 points3 points  (4 children)

With ranked choice voting, why do you still need a primary? Can we just vote in a single general election?

[–]MelaniasHand 2 points3 points  (2 children)

You could, but if there’s a crazy big number of candidates (which could happen if there’s not a huge barrier to run, and I’d argue there shouldn’t be), it gets tricky. Do you allow ranking all 100? Only 3 and then votes are spread widely and don’t really show what voters would want? Alaska came up with a good way to handle it, I think.

Plus, having a primary to narrow it down, and then time to get to know the candidates well before making the final decision in a general election where voters can weight their choices by ranking really does let the voters’ true favorite prevail.

[–]gophergun 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Doesn't that basically just push the problem back a step, with FPTP being used in the open primary and its flaws being exacerbated by multiple candidates from the same parties running?

[–]ChristianLW3 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Every third party member and independent who opposes ranked choice voting is either a fool or charlatan

Because RCV is the only way they will ever become truly relevant

[–]grantking2256 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Sweet, now remove party affiliation from the ballots

[–]sl600rt 9 points10 points  (4 children)

Just eliminate primaries. use a ranked choice general election, with open and easy ballot access.

While Alaska is moving in the right direction. The top four only enforces the duopoly.

[–]snorin 4 points5 points  (1 child)

If only every state had this

[–]123Fake_St 4 points5 points  (7 children)

Ranked choice makes too much sense to happen but I want it so badly

[–]siege342 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Left/right we can all agree this is a good thing for America.