Ranked Choice is a Bad Choice

The Wyoming Republican Party supports the Elections Runoff Bill SF0145 (https://www.wyoleg.gov/Legislation/2021/SF0145). This bill requires that candidates receive a majority (50% plus one) of votes cast in a primary in order to advance to the general election, rather than merely the highest number of votes cast (which in recent years has meant that the candidates advancing to the general election have received substantially less than 50%). This bill alleviates the problems of vote splitting and assures the election of the candidate with the broadest voter support.

Some are suggesting “Ranked Choice Voting” as an alternative solution - that’s a bad idea!

1. Ranked choice voting is a scheme to disconnect elections from issues and allow candidates with marginal voter support to win.

2. It obscures true debates and issue-driven dialogue among candidates and eliminates genuine binary choices between two top-tier candidates.

3. It disenfranchises voters, because ballots that do not include the two ultimate finalists are cast aside to manufacture a faux majority for the winner.

4. It requires voting machines to be able to reallocate votes, which is not the norm in Wyoming and would require substantial new expenditures, despite the fact that Wyoming just invested well over a million dollars on a brand new system.

5. It requires voters to complete the ranking for the system to work. Often they know only their favorite leading to a ‘name-recognition’ choice on the balance. That means big money plays a big factor in those races.

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