Letter: Ranked-Choice Voting for San Juan County

Posted May 12, 2021 at 4:30 am by

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.

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Categories: Letters

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