Letter to the Editor | GOP should back ranked voting

Letter to the Editor | GOP should back ranked voting

Each campaign season, Republicans reprise their lament of Illinois Democrats' machine — or, as they brand it, the "Madigan Machine." The Illinois GOP's proclaimed distaste for machine politics is unwavering.

Fortunately, there is a way to fight the machine.

Ranked choice voting (RCV) is an electoral system that allows voters to rank candidates in order of preference. If a voter's first favorite candidate loses, their vote transfers to their second favorite candidate.

Voters don't have to worry about "wasting" their vote on a longshot candidate, as they will still get their second favorite choice, even if their first favorite loses.

Therefore, RCV gives voters freedom to vote for independents, which helps to weaken the two-party system. When the two-party system is weakened, the power of party insiders is reduced, thanks to the presence of outsiders.

Republicans can also see a recent election for proof of how RCV can improve Illinois' democracy.

In 2018, now-Gov. J.B. Pritzker won 54 percent of the vote. A majority, but a small one. Gov. Bruce Rauner got only 39 percent of the vote because conservative Sam McCann and Libertarian Kash Jackson split votes from him, thereby curbing Rauner's hopes.

If Jackson and McCann voters could rank second and third options, their votes likely would have eventually gone to Rauner, giving him a better outcome.

The Illinois GOP can fight machine politics by fighting for ranked choice voting.

Call your representatives and tell them to rank the vote.