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Here’s How A Few Ballot Measures Could Upend Future Elections In Numerous States

Activists and left-wing groups want many states to introduce ranked-choice voting (RCV) to ballots, which, if passed, would fundamentally change how elections are conducted across the country.

The RCV model requires voters to rank candidates in order of preference, followed by several rounds of counting if no option initially receives a majority of votes. Nevada and Oregon plan to put statewide RCV initiatives on the 2024 ballot, and several other jurisdictions are considering similar measures, including Montana and Washington, D.C., both of which are backed by left-wing groups. Funded by. (Related: D.C. Democratic Party Lawsuit Claims New Voting Reforms Could Cause ‘Confusion’ Among Black Voters)

Two states, Alaska and Maine, already use RCV in their statewide elections, and dozens of other areas, including 53 counties and cities, also use the system. according to to the Council of State Governments. New York City, New York, Minneapolis, MN, San FranciscoCalifornia is one of the prominent jurisdictions that uses RCV.

Although many conservatives argue that RCV can confuse voters, is unsafe and primarily benefits Democrats, supporters argue that the system could be beneficial to the nomination process. I believe that.

“[RCV] Because, Trent England, executive director of the Electoral College advocacy group Save Our States, told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “RCV puts a burden on voters because the ballots are much more complex and take longer to understand. The system is also extremely difficult for poll workers and election officials. After multiple rounds of aggregation, reconciliation, and recounting of voting data, it becomes difficult to trust RCV results.”

If no candidate receives more than 50% of the votes, the individual receiving the fewest votes is eliminated. Votes for this candidate go to the voters’ second choice, and this process continues until the candidate receives a majority.

voters nevada It has been decided to create an open “Top 5” primary election system in which candidates can jointly run regardless of party affiliation, and an RCV in the general election. The five candidates who receive the most votes in the primary will advance to the general election, where their priorities will be determined.

Similar public primaries will be held in California. system for statewide, state legislative, and U.S. Congressional elections (they are called “voter-appointed” offices).The top two candidates with the highest number of votes in the primary will advance to the general election, and some conservatives support this. Criticize As a reinforcement of one-party dictatorship in blue states.

Already a Nevadan approved The 2022 ballot measure has about 53% support, but the state requires such an initiative to be approved in two general elections to take effect.

Oregon RCV ballot measures will also be introduced in November’s statewide elections. This initiative marks the first time a state legislature has enacted a statewide RCV. measurement on the ballot.

The RCV initiative passed the state Legislature in 2023 with the support of nearly all Democrats and just one Republican. If approved by voters, RCV would be implemented in all Oregon elections starting in 2028.

Since implementing RCV across each state; alaska and maine Two seats in Congress were flipped from Republicans to Democrats.

“[RCV] “This is a complex system that makes voting difficult, turns elections into a black box, and undermines public confidence in election results,” Jason Sneed, executive director of the election integrity group Honest Elections Project, told DCNF. Told. “Ultimately, RCV is a left-wing scam masquerading as bipartisan reform. Across the country, the left’s biggest donors are paying conservative activists and lobbyists to sell it to the public. [RCV]. In fact, [RCV] It’s a plan to shift politics to the left and give even more power and influence to the elite liberal mega-donors who spend millions of dollars promoting it. ”

one of the biggest defender RCV is fair voting, a Maryland-based organization that describes itself as nonpartisan. FairVote, which is not required to disclose its donors, claims it receives funding from individuals and groups across the political spectrum and has support from Democrats, Republicans and independents.

However, FairVote last three audit Indicates that the nonprofit receives funding only from left-wing groups, such as Pierre Omidyar’s organization. democracy fund, Tides Foundation, arnold ventures, Unite America Institute, thornburg foundation, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and Chicago Community Trust.

Republicans like former Virginia Gov. George Allen, former Arizona Sen. John McCain, and Wisconsin Rep. Mike Gallagher listed Although listed as RCV supporters on the Fair Vote website, the majority of supporters appear to be left-wing politicians — former President Barack Obama, Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson, and independent Vermonter. Sen. Bernie Sanders, members of the “Squad,” numerous Democratic House members, and several former and current Democratic governors.

The nonprofit conducts research and advocates for voting reforms to make “our democracy more functional and representative of all Americans.” according to Go to that website.of Nationwide An organization that provides data, research, and best practices for various state and local voting reforms. group He promoted RCV and helped implement the system in the 2020 Democratic presidential primaries across the country.

Nevadans for Election Reform is an ally of FairVote, which is listed on its website as “.coalition partner” as a local campaign nevada voters first.

Unite America, Another Left group that the work Donated $207,650 to local campaigns in 2023 to promote open primaries and RCV. according to To the Secretary of State of Nevada.The group’s political action committee (PAC) and several stakeholders. Gave Millions more were paid to Nevada Voters First in previous years.

liberal groups like ACLU of Nevada and represent the united states He also supports a ballot measure in Nevada.

In Beaver State, Oregon Ranked Choice Voting is a local campaign for state voting measures and is also listed as an affiliated group of FairVote.

Oregonians for Better Elections, a PAC now known as Oregonians for Ranked Choice Voting; receive Funding from both Unite America PAC and FairVote Action; according to To the Oregon Secretary of State. The PAC sent funds to local campaigns, including a total of $59,000 in 2022.

The ACLU of Oregon and the Oregon Progressive Party are among various left-wing groups. supported “Referral for legislation” of this measure.

“[RCV] “This is a smart voting method that Republicans across the country are using with great success,” Brian Cannon, Fair Vote’s advocacy director, told DCNF. “Simply put, ranked choice voting makes elections better by giving voters a stronger voice. It’s a good thing even if it’s a political party that is going to nominate a candidate.”

According to the Council of State Governments, the states of Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina use RCV for military and overseas voting.

Virginia used RCV for its 2021 Republican Governors Convention, held by Republican Governor Glenn Youngkin. received Obtained a majority in the 6th vote. Youngkin defeated former Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe by two points in the general election, becoming the state’s first Republican governor since 2009.

CHANTILLY, VA – November 2: Virginia Republican gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin speaks at an election night rally at the Westfield Marriott Washington Dulles. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Montanans calling for election reform teeth get together sign to get measurement The November vote will feature an open “top four” primary system in which the four candidates who receive the most support in the nomination contest advance to the general election.another Initiative It could also be placed on a ballot that requires a candidate to receive a majority of votes, rather than a plurality, to win the election.

collect defender Montana hopes the passage of two ballot measures will “create a viable opportunity” to pass RCV through the state Legislature in early 2025.Organizations affiliated with Fair Voting Ranked Choice Voting Montana.

Six Thirty FundA left-wing group belonging to the Arabella Advisors dark money network donated $30,350 to the Montana Election Reform Action Fund for in-kind polling in November 2023, according to the state’s Campaign Electronic Reporting System (CERS). did. Action Now, Inc., another liberal company group Founded by John and Laura Arnold, the organization donated a total of $362,000 to local campaigns at the end of 2023.

According to CERS, the Montana Election Reform Action Fund did receive a one-time donation of $2,500 from the Teton County Republican Central Committee.

Washington DC voters may have a chance to vote on RCV ballots measurement in November. The measure would open district primaries to all voters, not just those registered with a particular political party. The D.C. Council would have to allocate funds toward the “anticipated costs” of implementing the new system.

Speaking of twists and turns, the DC Democratic Party is file a lawsuit To maintain RCV measurements, Count all votes as DC They are collecting signatures to remove it from the November ballot.

FairVote’s allied group is Rank voting DCdonated $6,500 in in-kind donations to local campaigns on January 27th. according to To the Campaign Finance Department in Washington, DC.

Two senior FairVote employees joined their co-founders in December to donate to Make All Votes Count DC rob richie and Director of Research Policy Deborah Ortiz They each contributed $250.51, according to the filing. FairVote Action donated $25,000 to local campaigns in October and $1,316 on January 31st.

In response to a request for comment, DC, which counts every vote, pointed DCNF to its most recent financial disclosures and argued that RCV is a “bipartisan election reform tool.”

A similar RCV effort could appear on the general election ballot. missouri, idaho and colorado.

US Virgin Islands Republican Party Already used Former President Donald Trump defeated former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley 73.98% to 26.02% in the RCV presidential caucus on February 8th.

Former Michigan Republican Party Chairman Saul Anuzis, who helped organize the Republican caucus in the U.S. Virgin Islands, supports implementing RCV in the nomination process, but not in the general election under current circumstances.

“The beauty is [RCV] In reality, you won’t waste your vote unless you want to. So, if you rank all the candidates, your votes will not be wasted,” Anuzis told DCNF. “You can vote for the most likely candidate, and if a candidate drops out, your second, third, and fourth vote can actually be the vote that matters, and that’s what makes the difference in the election. . I think this is really great because it allows us to be more philosophical in our voting.”

Mr. Anuzis has worked with FairVote to advocate RCV in the nomination process, believing that such a system in the nomination process would serve as a “very powerful value-add to party building.”

Some jurisdictions that have used RCV in elections are now trying to reinstate it. auckland, California residents are collecting signatures to abolish the voting system ahead of November’s local elections.Another voting measure alaska This would eliminate RCV in the state’s top four primary and general elections, which the state currently conducts. During verification signature.

Nevada Voters First, Oregon Ranked Choice Voting, and Montanans for Election Reform did not respond to DCNF’s requests for comment.

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