It’s great to see major media outlets support game-changing reforms like ranked choice voting (aka, “instant runoff voting”):
The next regular round of council and local elections is slated for next year. So it’s important to look beyond the personalities of the recent election to the processes that allowed a citywide representative to be elected by a tiny minority of voters. Unofficial returns from the D.C. Board of Elections show 49,869 people — less than 10 percent of the District’s registered 505,698 voters — participating in the special election. Moreover, the winner received just 16,054 votes, or less than a third of those cast. Clearly, it’s not much of a mandate when more than two-thirds of voters prefer someone else.
A better system would provide for an instant runoff, in which voters rank candidates in order of choice and it takes a majority, not a plurality, to win. If such a system had been in place Tuesday, the last-place candidate would have been eliminated and all ballots recounted, with the votes for the stricken candidate reassigned to the second choice of his voters. The process would have continued until a candidate reached a majority.
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