Letter: Ranked-Choice Voting for San Juan County
By Learner Limbach, Orcas Island
Have you ever looked at your choices on a ballot and thought, “I’m just not excited about any of these”?
I have, and I’m tired of being coerced into voting for the “lesser evil”. I think many others are, too.
Ranked-choice voting is one idea that is giving me hope, and it is proving to be a more equitable and inclusive way of choosing our elected leaders. And, luckily, in San Juan County, our Charter Review Commission is currently considering it.
Ranked-choice voting gives you the option to rank candidates in the order you prefer: first choice, second choice, third choice, and so on. If your favorite can’t win, your vote counts for your next choice.
This simple change to our elections gives voters more say in who represents them by allowing voters to rank their true favorite along with backup choices. It means we wouldn’t have to vote strategically for the candidate we think can win. No more voting for the “lesser evil.”
Instead, we can vote for our true favorite candidates, with a clean conscience.
Ranked-choice voting also removes barriers to running, and encourages a diverse field of candidates. In a ranked-choice system, candidates don’t have to worry about “spoiling” the chances of another candidate they like by drawing away their votes.
Right now, we have a golden opportunity to incorporate ranked-choice voting into our charter. I hope the San Juan County Charter Review Commission will put the voters first and take action in favor of ranked-choice voting.