SSN Commentary

Ranked-Choice Voting Is Worth a Look

Policy field

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University of Wisconsin-Madison

Originally published as " Ranked-Choice Voting Is Worth a Look," The Cap Times, October 4, 2021

We have all heard complaints from our friends and family about what is wrong in Washington: polarization, partisan standoffs and hardball legislative tactics that seem more about scoring points against the opposition than good governance. A recent Marquette Law School Poll found that 84% of Wisconsinites described government in Washington as “broken.” That politicians are not meeting our expectations is one of the few political things on which Democrats, Republicans and others agree.

Member of Congress often seem to be focused on whipping up their rabid partisan supporters instead of serving a broad swath of the public. It is not hard to see why politicians are inclined to play to the party base. In a two-party system where each voter picks one candidate they want to win, politicians are incentivized to turn out their backers rather than reach out to the other side. It is a system that often rewards the most inflammatory voices rather than the consensus builders.