Last month the major parties held their conventions to pick presidential nominees Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. But before we turn our attention solely to the general election, I’d like to highlight a sensible proposal that state parties have the power to enact before the 2020 elections that promises to benefit both parties.
We have become a multiple option society in nearly every way. Politics is no different, as the 11 serious candidates seeking the Republican nomination at the time of the Iowa caucuses can attest. A greater mix of candidates and choices can enrich our policy debates and allow parties to show they have a big tent that, when united, can hold a majority of Americans.
There’s just one problem: we only allow voters to indicate support for one candidate no matter how many choices they have. It’s time to seriously consider what Robert’s Rules of Order calls preferential voting and what many cities using it call “ranked choice voting.”
Ranked choice voting is a proven way to vote. Its recommendation by Robert’s Rules has led to extensive use by private organization elections, from the Utah Republican Party to the Oscars for Best Picture. London elects its mayor with ranked choice voting, and Australia has used it for its national elections for nearly a century.