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Ranked-choice voting works

As a former civics teacher and a member of FairVote Illinois, a nonpartisan group advocating ranked-choice voting, it is important that I respond to The News-Gazette’s July 2 editorial that unfairly blames ranked-choice voting for the delay in results in New York City’s mayoral primary.

New York is not the first city to use ranked-choice voting. It is already used in over 20 cities across America. Maine has used it since 2018, and Alaska will begin next year. It is also used for many overseas absentee ballots. Additionally, many countries have long used ranked choice. Australia has successfully used it for more than 100 years!

Regarding New York, important context was missing from the editorial. The primary reason for the delay is the large number of absentee ballots accepted up to a week late. As of last Thursday, more than 100,000 absentee ballots were still uncounted. Due to the tight race, the results would still not be known, regardless of the method used.

The mistaken unofficial results last week were due to human error, not ranked-choice voting. Officials accidentally included test ballots. This could just as easily have happened without ranked-choice voting.

Importantly, New York voters overwhelmingly liked ranked-choice voting. Exit polling showed that 77 percent of those who voted want to keep it.

The status quo is not working, and ranked-choice voting gives voters more options, incentivizes consensus-building and has already been successful in many jurisdictions.

I encourage readers to get a fair and more complete picture of ranked-choice voting by visiting fairvoteillinois.org.

MATTHEW HAUSMAN

Pesotum

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