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Voters are forced to choose between the lesser of two evils. Over and over and over again. Citizens have little choice, and third-party candidates never seem to have a real shot at winning elections.
Why? The spoiler effect.
What is the spoiler effect?
When a third-party candidate enters the race, they always run the risk of splitting the vote with the establishment candidate whose politics they most closely align with. If a progressive candidate enters the race, she draws votes away from the Democrat. If a conservative enters, she draws votes away from the Republican. If we’re only allowed to choose one candidate on the ballot, the spoiler effect will always be a problem in our elections, and keep us trapped in a two-party system with only two choices.
Let voters rank their favorite candidates with Ranked Choice Voting.
- When you vote, you rank your favorite candidates in order of preference.
- If your first choice is mathematically eliminated, your vote still counts toward your second choice. That way, you can vote your conscience without worrying about accidentally electing the candidate you like the least.
- No more choosing between the lesser of two evils or splitting the vote by voting for a third-party or independent candidate.
- Voters get more choices at the ballot. Lots of potential candidates want to run for office but don’t want to split their party’s vote. Now they can campaign without fear of acting as a spoiler.
- Winning candidates get support from the majority of voters. (In contrast, our current system of voting allows candidates in 3-way races to win with just 34% of the vote.)
- Campaigns become more positive and civil. With ranked choice voting, candidates don’t want to speak poorly of their opponents, because they are trying to earn the second-choice votes of their opponents’ supporters.
- Elections are cheaper and easier. With RCV, there’s no need to hold a costly, low voter turnout runoff election. Campaigns can be shorter and cheaper, and voters only have to go out to the polls once.