I was so happy to see we had a state bill this year which would bring the option of ranked-choice voting to Washington. Though we will have to wait until next year to see if it passes, the momentum is exciting.
Ranked-choice voting (RCV) allows you to rank the candidates on your ballot. If your first choice can’t win, your vote counts for your second choice and so on until one candidate has won 50% of the votes.
Over the years, there have been candidates who really speak to my values and vision. Often, these candidates are not supported by either of the two major parties and so are perceived as “spoilers.” In the past, I have felt enormous pressure to compromise. Voters like me are admonished not to throw our votes away on candidates who are not electable.
It sounds so simple, but RCV means that voters like me will no longer feel pressured to vote for the “lesser of two evils.” We will be able to vote our hearts and back it up with a safe bet.
In 2008, Pierce County adopted ranked-choice voting as a pilot. It ran into a few problems, some having to do with the technology of the time and some with just bad luck. These mishaps soured many people on RCV and it was repealed.
But so much has changed since then. Election technology is better and there are evidence-based protocols now for RCV implementation. Polls show that voters like RCV and there is bipartisan support for it across the country.
Data gathered from across the nation shows that RCV will improve our elections by making campaigns about issues, increasing the diversity among candidates and improving voter turnout. Please support ranked-choice voting for Washington.
Jomichele Seidl, Gig Harbor
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