Our current first-past-the-post or winner-take-all voting system does not create a truly representative government.
The first past the post system is unrepresentative and frequently fails to accurately represent the views of voters. It often creates "false majorities" by over-representing larger parties by giving a majority of the legislative seats to a party that did not receive a majority of the votes, while under-representing smaller ones.
This system creates a two-party rule, and as we often see, allowing a minority of voters deciding our representatives. It can also create a problem referred to as the “spoiler effect” if candidates outside the two-party system decide to run in elections, or if candidates from the same party run against each other.
Check out Minority Rule: First Past the Post Voting video that explains the issues with first past the post in more detail.
We believe using an alternative voting method, in particular Ranked-Choice Voting (RCV), previously referred to as “instant runoff voting,” is a better electoral system that is more representative.
How does it work? Ranked choice voting allows voters to rank multiple candidates in order of preference on their ballots. You pick your first choice, second choice, third choice and so on. If you can also just pick one candidate if you prefer.
What are advantages of Ranked-Choice Voting?
How are ballots counted? When the ballots are counted, the goal is to get to a majority winner. If no one’s first choice candidate reaches a 50% plus one majority, the person with the fewest first round votes gets eliminated, and their second choice get added to the tally. This continues until a candidate reaches a majority.
Check out The Alternative Vote Explained to illustrate how this works.
Who uses Ranked-Choice Voting? It’s being used in a variety of jurisdictions across the country, including Maine and Alaska, as well as over 50 cities. Also, both parties in various states use it to pick their party nominees. It’s also used to pick the academy awards.
Why should you support Ranked-Choice Voting? RCV is a time-tested reform that has proven to eliminate many of the issues we face with a first past the post system. It’s a way to help create a more representative government by reducing minority rule, addressing the “spoiler effect” that can open the door to candidates outside the current two-party system, and address a lot of the negative campaigning we see every election.
If you have questions or would like more information, please reach to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fix Democracy First was the original sponsor of FairVote Washington (FVW), whose sole focus is to attain RCV and proportional representation in Washington State through either local or state legislation, or via the ballot. We continue to partner with FVW
Fix Democracy First was the original sponsor of FairVote Washington (FVW), whose sole focus is to attain RCV and proportional representation in Washington State through either local or state legislation, or via the ballot. We continue to partner with FVW to help pass a Local Options bill that would enable jurisdictions in Washington state to adopt alternative voting systems, such as ranked choice voting. We are also supporting ranked choice in WA charter counties, including King, San Juan, Whatcom, and Clark counties.
Fix Democracy First is now a member of Washington for Equitable Representation, whose mission is to ensure fair representation in our elected bodies through ranked choice voting and create a civil democracy that works for all Washington residents.