Ranked Choice Voting
If the heart of democracy is the will of the people, then few things should be more important than voting. That’s why the United Utah Party seeks voting methods that not only help all Utahns vote, but also give Utahns the ability to truly vote for what they want.
Utahns have reason to be proud here. We are one of only a handful of states where voting by mail is now the default method of voting. This not only makes voting more convenient for many of us, but also ensures that everyone gets a chance to vote, including those who can’t get away from work, those who take ill, those who are disabled, and those who have others in their care. And at this time when so many are concerned about going to public places, what a blessing it is for all to be able to simply vote from home. We would all do well to write our representatives and thank them for passing that law when they did.
But while we are writing, we should also express support for Ranked Choice Voting. If you haven’t heard about Ranked Choice Voting, you are not alone. It is a largely forgotten idea around here, but it is making a come back. The idea is simple. Instead of simply selecting one person to vote for, you rank all of the candidates in order of preference. When the ballots are counted, only the favorite is looked at. If a candidate has over 50% then that candidate wins. If not, then the candidate with the fewest first preference votes is removed, and those that voted for that candidate as their first preference now have their second preference counted. The ballots are recounted, and if there is still no candidate over the 50% mark, then the process is repeated until there is.
So, why should we support ranked choice voting? Because it is more representative of how people want to vote. No matter who you are, or what party you belong to, I’m certain you’ve had a moment where you thought: “I really like candidate A but that candidate probably won’t win. But candidate B has a chance, and though I like them less, I should probably vote for them, or else we risk getting candidate C who I really don’t like.”
In our current system, we are voting out of fear. Instead of voting for the best candidates, and the candidates that represent us the most, we are essentially voting against the candidate we like least. The “lesser of two evils” is a term we hear a lot. It doesn’t have to be this way.
There are other advantages to ranked choice voting as well. Primaries and run-off elections are expensive. Ranked choice voting could do away with those, and streamline the process. In addition, ranked choice voting tends to make candidates act more civil towards each other because they recognize that while another candidate might be your first choice, they could be your second choice, and that might be enough to help them win in the end.
With all these advantages, it’s hard to see why everybody isn’t in favor of ranked choice voting. And indeed, we are seeing signs of change. Already some Utah cities have switched to Ranked Choice Voting, and the Utah Republican Caucus will be using it this year. But there is some hesitancy as well. Change is sometimes difficult. That’s why we need to keep pushing for this change to happen. We need to keep writing our representatives, and voting for those who are in favor of ranked choice, such as candidates for the United Utah Party. In fact, the United Utah Party is the only party that is in favor of Ranked Choice Voting for every election. That is why the best way of getting better elections is to vote United Utah.
So write, call, email your representatives. Thank them for getting the Vote By Mail going, and encourage them to keep pushing for Ranked Choice Voting. And in November, as you drop your ballot in the mailbox, don’t forget to consider candidates’ positions on these critical issues. And of course, where possible, always vote to Unite Utah.