Thursday, November 27, 2008

Georgia Mess Points Out the Need for Ranked Choice Voting

The Georgia US Senate race is showing the problems with their election system. The voters and taxpayers of Georgia are going to have a run-off election since no candidate received a majority of the votes in November.

James Wiseman writes:

"The U.S. Senate race in Georgia is going to a runoff Dec. 2, because the Libertarian candidate, Allen Buckley, got just enough votes to prevent either the Republican Saxby Chambliss or the Democrat Jim Martin from getting a majority.

Georgia voters, many of whom waited in line for hours to cast their ballots, will have to go back to vote again. The runoff is an extra expense for a state government that is already in a budget crisis, and a serious inconvenience for every voter who will have to somehow find the time for another trip to the polling place. Many will be unable or unwilling to vote again, which means that the results will reflect the desires of a smaller proportion of the original voting population.

The problem with our voting system is obvious. On Nov. 4, each voter was asked for his or her first choice for senator. Why make us come back a month later to ask us again? Why not ask us for our first and second choices on Election Day? In the Senate race in Georgia, no one got a majority. Since Buckley came in last, he would be eliminated, and each of Buckley’s voters’ ballots would be switched to their second choices. It is exactly what happens in a runoff, except that it is done immediately, without forcing us to hold another election."

The situation in Georgia shows one of the reasons why many people throughout the country are considering a system such as the ranked choice voting system in Pierce County, Washington.

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

<< Home