To the editor:
The latest proposed improvement to democracy is on the November ballot: Question 2. Ranked choice voting is promoted as a better way to ensure an election winner will be the candidate receiving a majority (more than 50 percent) of votes, rather than the current system where the candidate with the most votes (a plurality) wins even if he or she receives less than a majority.
Currently, with three or more candidates running, the winner might garner less that 50 percent of the vote. RCV is an attempt to correct this perceived flaw. A critical analysis can only conclude that RCV does nothing to make the election process fairer.
RCV will not ensure the winner receives a majority of the votes cast. This can happen because the ranking process eliminates ballots, reducing the number of ballots eligible to be counted. One example: When three or more candidates are on the ballot and some voters, as will happen, rank only one or two of them (called under-voting), some ballots will not have any “still standing” candidate and hence will be “exhausted,” which means discarded. In Maine, where RCV has been in place for some time, an average of 11 percent of ballots cast were “exhausted.” It is important to understand that while the RCV system will eventually produce a winner, the win is based on a majority of the ballots remaining after those eliminated by the ranking. It may not be a majority of the ballots cast.
Voters focus on the candidate they want elected. Ranking others is problematic, not a significant concern. RCV will do nothing to keep “big money” out of politics or lessen political influence. Implementing RCV is not easy or cheap. There’s the expense of all new voting equipment, the retraining of election workers and the re-education of the public. While ranked choice voting exists in some jurisdictions, there are some where it was put in place and subsequently abandoned: North Carolina; Pierce County, Wash.; Aspen, Colo.; Ann Arbor, Mich.; and more.
If a plurality is unacceptable, there is only one fair way to insure the winner receives a majority of the votes cast. It’s called a run-off election, a contest between the two top vote-getters. Nothing changes from the existing system, and no voters are eliminated from the election. Yes, it costs money to run another election. Sometimes it costs money to do what is right and fair.
Charles I. Francis, Becket
Source : https://www.berkshireeagle.com/opinion/letters_to_editor/letter-runoffs-would-be-a-fairer-option-than-ranked-choice-voting/article_f6ca5fa6-08ca-11eb-914d-7b10c614ac46.html