New Jersey Needs Ranked Choice Voting

Dear Editor:

Last November, Hoboken voted to bring back old style run-off elections requiring an additional election in the December holiday season if a candidate doesn’t win with a 50 percent majority.

There is a better, more progressive way and it’s called Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) or Instant Run-off.

RCV allows voters to choose candidates in order of preference from first to last, ballots are counted, the candidate in last place is eliminated and his/her votes are reassigned to the voters’ next choices. This process continues until a candidate wins a majority.
More than a dozen US cities have adopted RCV, including San Francisco; Santa Fe NM; Minneapolis; St. Paul; and Maine used it in their federal race just this month.

There are many reasons why RCV is better for our democracy. It encourages a variety of candidates to run by not defining anyone as a ‘spoiler’, giving us more voices during an election. It saves money for both taxpayers and candidates by eliminating a separate costly run-off. It creates a more positive campaign cycle as candidates want to earn the 2nd or 3rd choice of voters who may support their rivals. It improves voter turnout by consolidating the run-off to election day.

Our Assemblywoman Annette Chaparro has co-sponsored a bill A1801 that is in committee waiting to be scheduled for consideration. A1801 would allow voters in the State of New Jersey to have a stronger voice in their local elections. I urge you to reach out to the Chair and Vice Chair of the committee to encourage them to move this bill forward.

State and Local Government Committee

Assemblyman Vincent Mazzeo, Chair 609-383-1388 AsmMazzeo@njleg.org

Assemblywoman Shavonda Sumter, Vice Chair 973-925-7063 AswSumter@njleg.org

Assemblywoman Annette Chaparro, District 33 201-683-7920 AswChaparro@njleg.org

For more information on RCV go to Fairvote.org

Chris Adair

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