LETTER: 'Ranked choice' voting would be good for NY state

Daily Freeman-1 year before

In any primary or election, you get only one vote; that’s called “winner take all.” That makes it hard to choose which candidate to vote for and harder to accept that some other candidate wins. Think about the presidential primary coming up. Do you really like one candidate, or would you be OK if any one of several others won?

If we had "ranked choice" voting, as do the voters in Maine, you wouldn’t have to choose between the most electable and the candidate you really want to win. And you wouldn’t be really disappointed if a candidate that would have been you third choi...e won.

Say there are four candidates, A, B, C and D. You choose as your first choice candidate B. You mark as your second choice candidate D. Your third choice is candidate A. And your fourth choice (if you get four) is candidate C. Candidate D gets the most votes, but not a majority. Candidate C gets the fewest votes, so all those who chose candidate C have their votes counted for their second choices. Maybe this time candidate B has the most votes but not a majority. So the remaining candidate with the lowest number of votes, candidate A, is eliminated, and the votes of those who voted for candidate A are counted for their second (or third) choice. This time candidate B has a majority of votes and wins the election.

What if candidate D had won? She/he was your second choice, so wouldn’t you feel better than if you got to vote for only candidate B and then candidate C won?

Like "ranked choice" voting? Let your state senator and assembly member know. The New York Legislature has to change the rules for voting, and now is the time to start talking about it.

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