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LETTER Voice your choice
2019-11-13

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Dear Editor:

On Nov. 5, New York City overwhelmingly approved ranked choice voting by referendum. We should do those residents one better and enact ranked choice voting for all of Illinois.

The Illinois Senate currently has a bill—SB2267, sponsored by state Sen. Laura Murphy. We must contact our legislators and show our support for this bill.

Ranked choice voting would forever end the concepts of the "spoiler candidate" or "lesser evil" voting. It would also greatly reduce the online vitriol around election time ( take note Twitter, and Facebook comment sections ). It would increase voter participation because it's a system that better represents a voter's beliefs.

The best way I have of explaining ranked choice voting is through a simplified 2016 election. Let's say there are only three candidates for president—Hillary Clinton ( Democrat ), Donald Trump ( Republican ) and Jill Stein ( Green Party ). You are a progressive, and you like the platforms and policies of Jill Stein, but are afraid to vote for her, thinking it's a wasted vote, and that it would be like giving a vote to Donald Trump. With ranked choice voting, you rank the candidates instead of voting for just one, so in this case—#1 Jill Stein, #2 Hillary Clinton. The votes come in, and let's say Jill Stein comes in last place. She is then knocked off the ballot, and whoever ranked her at #1 has their #2 ranking get counted instead. The votes are then recounted. ( The full name of the system is ranked choice/instant runoff voting ).

There's a good analogy for the Democratic primaries, also. If you are hoping for a progressive Democratic candidate in the current voting system, it's problematic. It is quite possible that the votes for the two progressive candidates, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, will be split, allowing the more moderate Joe Biden to win. If there was ranked choice voting, you could vote for both Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, and even include your preference for one over the other.

Please note: All of these examples are coming from my progressive/left ideology, but it works the same way for any ideology. Ranked choice voting is simply a better indication of the actual beliefs and wants of a voting population—in whatever direction that might take it.

The time is now!

Sincerely,

Scott Free

Campsongs Productions


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