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Should Texas adopt ranked choice voting?

Monday, May 18, 2020 by Tai Moses

Ranked choice voting, also called instant runoff voting, has been implemented in multiple cities around the U.S. and in many Texas universities. Now there’s a movement afoot to adopt this election reform at the state level. As the group Common Ground for Texans explains, ranked choice voting is considered to offer voters greater choice, cost less and improve voter turnout. RCV allows voters to specify their second and third choices on a ballot, instead of simply selecting one candidate. The candidate with the majority of first-choice votes wins. Then, “In the first round of tallying, if no candidate has a majority, the one in last place is eliminated and their votes transfer to their voters’ next specified choice. Tallying then continues in another round and the process repeats until there’s a winner.” CG4TX continues, “RCV reduces negativity in campaigns, because if a candidate can’t be your first choice, they may still want to be your second. It allows voters more freedom of choice by eliminating the need to vote tactically to avoid splitting the vote. And it saves money, because voters don’t have to return to polling stations for runoff elections.” In a Zoom meeting held Saturday, May 23, from 2-4 p.m., CG4TX board members Joanne Richards and Dan Eckam will explain how RCV works and discuss its history, current practices and how participants can help enact this reform in Texas via the new group Ranked Choice Voting for Texas. Zoom call-in details will be posted on Facebook before the meeting, and in a reminder email.

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