“How R.F.K. Jr. Got on the Michigan Ballot, With Only Two Votes”

Interesting story from the N.Y Times on how RFK, Jr. became the nominee of the Natural Law Party, which has retained ballot access under Michigan law. In my judgment, it would be helpful if stories like these explained to readers that the problem with the current system is not ballot access for minor-party candidates but the lack of a runoff mechanism (or ranked choice voting) that would require candidates to receive a majority of the vote. Or, to put the point sometime differently, the media could explain the inconsistency between (1) the idea of having a “two-party system” and (2) laws that permit third-party and independent candidates ballot access. On this issue, it’s impossible to “have your cake and eat it too”–and yet that’s how American repeatedly attempts to conduct its elections, because because there has been no civics education to explain this to the citizenry.

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