Ranked Choice Voting on the Rise
Along with cicadas (at least in Northern Virginia), election reform seems to be everywhere. And with upcoming elections, now is the time to consider how specific reforms may benefit the Commonwealth and put voters first.
Here’s a couple of highlights from the past month:
Virginia has made leaps and bounds in our elections over the last few years. The latest example? The state’s adoption of a local ranked choice voting pilot; this method of voting was recently used successfully by the Virginia GOP for their statewide nominating convention.
Ranked choice voting allows voters to rank their candidates in order of preference, and ensures that the candidate who wins the election is actually the candidate who has the majority support of voters.
One of our key goals at Unite Virginia: improve not only the functionality of our government, but the representation of our elected officials too. As voters in Virginia increasingly use RCV, it’s worth understanding the potential positive effects of this simple improvement.
Luckily, our friends at FairVote have an answer. They released a report this month that found that ranked choice voting helped to boost both voters and candidates of color. In an analysis of over 1,422 candidates in 398 single-winner RCV elections, they found that candidates of color performed well in the system, and voters of color enjoyed using the system. Read the full report here.
Not too long ago, Virginia was one of the least voter-friendly states in the nation. Now, just a few years later, Virginia has completely turned itself around, providing an example to the country of improved voter access laws.
On our blog this month, we provide a high-level overview of several key pieces of legislation that put voters first in the Commonwealth. At times it can be hard to see just how far we’ve come. It’s important to reflect and celebrate. Of course — there’s still more to be done!