When New York voters cast their ballots in the city’s primary elections this year, they’ll have the option of ranking five candidates instead of choosing just one. It’s called ranked-choice voting, and its advocates say it promises to improve democracy as we know it.
In a traditional voting system, voters select just one candidate. With ranked-choice voting, they rank candidates in order of preference. With a traditional ballot, all the votes are added up, and the candidate with the most votes wins, even if that candidate did not win a majority of votes. (This system is sometimes called “plurality voting.”)
With the ranked-choice ballot, if none of the candidates receives a majority of first-choice votes, the last-place candidate is eliminated, and her votes are distributed to her voters’ second-choice candidates. The process repeats until one of the candidates collects more than half the votes.
Ranked-choice voting is more complicated — and possibly more confusing — than plurality voting, so why bother?
Read the full article in the Washington Post.