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Which is the best voting system? Show more Show less
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From proportional representation to the ranked-choice system, there are many voting systems used throughout the world. Which is the best representation of citizen voices?

Ranked-choice voting is the best Show more Show less

Also known as the first-past-the-post or instant runoff voting systems, the ranked-choice system allows voters to rank candidates based on preference.
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Ranked-choice voting is the best representation of the majority vote

Majority rule is a key distinction of democracy. Ranked-choice voting requires a candidate to have the majority vote in order to win. Since ranked-choice voting is the best representation of the majority, it is the best voting system.

Context

The main principle of ranked-choice voting is to allow voters to rank candidates based on their preferences. A candidate wins if they receive at least 50 percent of the first-choice votes.

The Argument

Other voting systems, such as the electoral college, have been criticized for not electing the majority choice. Majority rule is a core part of democracy, and ranked-choice voting is the best representation of the majority vote.[1] Alternative voting systems allow a candidate to win even if they do not win the majority. On the other hand, gaining the majority—at least 50 percent of first-choice votes—is a requirement for ranked-choice voting. This requirement ensures that a demographic’s most preferred candidate wins the election.[2] If no candidate earns the majority votes in ranked-choice voting, the lowest ranked candidates are eliminated. If a voter’s first-choice candidate is removed as a low ranked candidate, the vote is transferred to their next preferred candidate. This process reduces the choices for voters until a true representation of the majority vote can be determined.[2] Majority rule is one of the key features of democracy. As ranked-choice voting is the best representation of the majority vote, democracies should implement this voting system into all elections.

Counter arguments

Ranked-choice voting can promote ballot exhaustion, in which voters rank too few candidates for the ballot to be meaningful. If a voter only ranks one candidate, and that candidate is eliminated, the vote is nullified. If many voters rank too few candidates, it may be impossible to have a majority number of total votes due to an influx of invalid votes. [3] For example, a study by Craig Burnett and Vladimir Kogan analyzed ranked-choice voting in four local elections in California and Washington. In all four elections, the winner did not receive the majority of total votes. Ballot exhaustion forced too many ballots to be deemed invalid, so no candidate actually received at least 50 percent of total votes. [3]

Proponents


Premises

Rejecting the premises


References

  1. https://www.bostonglobe.com/2020/09/18/opinion/ranked-choice-voting-is-better-way-vote/
  2. https://www.fairvote.org/rcvbenefits
  3. https://democracyjournal.org/arguments/ranked-choice-voting-is-not-the-solution/

This page was last edited on Sunday, 11 Oct 2020 at 23:39 UTC

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