I thank the Red Wing City Council for having the courage, foresight, and intelligence to put ranked choice voting on the next ballot. RCV is one of many ideas that have been put forward to try and reduce the polarization that is tearing apart the fabric of our fragile society. At the least, RCV will require candidates to make some sort of appeal to the majority of voters to reach the necessary majority vote for election.
One state, Maine, has stood up on its hind legs and made RCV the election system for state and national elections -- but only after suffering one of the least popular, most divisive and embarrassing governors in the state’s history as a result of a multi-candidate split vote.
COUNTERPOINT: Letter: Keep voting simple in Red Wing
At the least, RCV minimizes the requirement that we must always vote for the least evil of two choices, which drives a substantial portion of the country from ever voting (almost half of all eligible voters are not registered to vote). RCV does not require you to make a second, third or fourth choice. RCV does eliminate unnecessary, expensive, and divisive primaries. RCV discourages negative advertising, which drives undecided voters away from candidates inclined to toss bombs instead of addressing the issues. RCV is an attempt to encourage more citizens to participate both as candidates and voters.
Democracy is a continuous experiment, while dictatorships and monarchies are stagnant and repressive. Most of the opposition to RCV comes from the people who have the most to lose from democracy breaking out in the USA. It’s always worth following the money with those folks.
The argument that the old “simple” system has served us well in the past isn’t well-supported by facts. The USA has one of the worst voting participation records of any democracy in the world. While it is all too obvious that U.S. citizens are not up to First World standards in math skills, RCV is easily understood with a small effort and a little investigation (https://ballotpedia.org/Ranked-choice_voting_(RCV), has an excellent explaination with examples).
The key word too many people forget in the KISS principle is the last one, “stupid.” If the only requirement for a system is that it be simple, the assumption behind that is the people involved are not intelligent enough to make decisions for themselves. You should be insulted when anyone implies that RCV is too complicated for the voters to understand.