All the votes are apparently in for the 3rd District Congressional seat (oh, I mean the Dem nominee, but they are the huge favorite to win the general as we all assume). And the race will face a recount win with only 52 votes separating the first and second place finishers. And the two top finishers each got less than 22% of the vote…hardly a strong endorsement for either.
Wow, what a way to run a Democracy! We’ll spend a couple of weeks determining the winner and the ultimate winner will have barely gotten the support of 1 in 5 voters in the primary.
Rank choice voting would address these two flaws in the current system, by quickly breaking this “tie vote” and declaring one candidate to have more than 50% of voters having a strong preference for the winner.
For those not familiar with RCV and how it would break the tie and give voters a “majority winner”, here’s what would have happened:
Voters in the 3rd would have voted for their first choice and then rank by preference their support for the other 9 candidates (or however many they want to rank).
The winning candidate must get to 50% support. So in the real case of the 3rd, the 582 votes that last place finisher Leonard Golder received would be reallocated to the candidate each voter designated as their 2nd choice. This wouldn’t get anyone to 50%, so the 1800 votes that 2nd to last place finisher got, would be reallocated based on those voters 2nd choice. This process would continue until a candidate wins more than 50% of the vote (and it is entirely possible that the third place candidate in this scenario, is the ultimate winner with more than 50%).
So with rank choice voting, there is no need for a recount, instead we get an automatic runoff and the winner will have had more than 50% of the voters having a positive preference for the winner.
But this all makes to much sense and we’ll probably live with a system in which the “winner” gets 22% of the vote. Gee, and why are people alienated from politics?