There’s a common refrain from voters throughout the ages when looking at their choices that there’s a long list of candidates, with one or two they really like but who don’t have a chance of winning.
Or they look at a short list with no choices they like.
If it’s the former, the theory goes, one of two things happens. They don’t vote because they’ve been told their candidate doesn’t have a chance. Or they vote for the candidate, who doesn’t win, and they’re unhappy with the eventual winner because they don’t feel their voice has been heard.
If it’s the latter situation, another theory goes, they don’t vote and turnout goes down to the point where a majority of a minority elects someone to office. Or they make a “lesser of two evils” choice, and even if that person is elected, they’re unhappy as soon as he or she does something they don’t like.
Some good government types, as well as a passel of legislators, think the solution to both of these situations is “ranked-choice voting.”
Under that system, a voter can mark a ballot for more than one candidate in order of preference. So one could mark a Libertarian as No. 1, a Green Party candidate as No. 2, a Reform Party candidate as No. 3 and a member of a major party No. 4. Under a bill sent to the full state House of Representatives recently, a voter could choose up to five candidates in order of preference.