Tournament Elections with Round-Robin Primaries (published version)

The Wisconsin Law Review has posted online the published version of my symposium essay setting forth a majoritarian electoral system that uses Ranked Choice Voting ballots in a nonpartisan primary, with the general election being a face-off between the primary’s top two candidates as identified by a round-robin analysis of the ranked-choice ballots.

For those familiar with the theoretical literature on electoral system design, this idea of “tournament elections with round-robin primaries” builds upon the tradition of Condorcet, Borda, and many others, to offer a method comprehensible to ordinary voters of identifying the most majority-preferred candidate among a field of multiple competitors.

I continue to believe that some version of electoral reform rooted in majoritarian principles, whether this particular system or some other variation derived from the theory of social choice, is the only way the United States can overcome the acute challenges to democratic governance that the nation is currently facing. I very much welcome feedback and dialogue on this topic, particularly as I intend for this essay to be one step of an ongoing effort to pursue how electoral system design can serve to strengthen American democracy.

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