Coming soon to a shopping center near you, a bright eyed college student will approach you to with a clipboard and a smile to get you to sign a petition to make elections more fair, requiring a majority of voters for a candidate to be elected. What they are really being paid to do is push Montana Constitutional amendments (CI126 & CI127) for ranked choice voting. They can’t present it that way since ranked choice has rightfully earned a bad name for itself.
In the January Jefferson County Republican Central Committee Meeting a resolution was unanimously passed opposing all ranked choice initiatives, especially CI126 and CI127.
The background on this is that the elected officials of both Montana houses passed legislation forbidding rank choice voting which was then signed into law by our Governor during the last legislature. Not allowing what the people want to get in the way, a small group of powerful, and often out of state, players have decided to rebrand it and try to amend the Montana Constitution so that no laws again may be passed against this terrible practice.
There are three main problems with ranked choice voting:
1. It diminishes voter confidence. Voters are required to make informed decisions on all the candidates on the ballot, not just who they support.
2. It creates slower election results and increased irregularities and costs. The multiple rounds of tabulations take time, a centralized location for tabulation (no threat to integrity there), additional costs, and are confusing for voters. Most importantly, it fundamentally changes the concept of ‘one voter, one vote’ to one voter, multiple votes.
3. It discounts votes. If a voter undervotes, only votes for their candidate, that ballot does not count toward the end result.
For a full explanation of the process visit the Foundation for Government Accountability article:
So when that cheery faced co-ed approaches you with a clipboard, ask them to explain ranked choice voting, and why so many governments that have tried it have reversed course. Then politely say, “no thank you”.