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Ranked Choice Tennessee

Ranked Choice Tennessee envisions a future where more Tennesseans can participate in elections using ranked choice voting (RCV). Our activities fall into two main categories: civic education and advocacy. We work with election administrators, policy makers and the public to share best practices and help facilitate successful RCV elections.

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Wyoming Democrats switch to a ranked-choice presidential caucus

Democrats in Wyoming have decided to use ranked-choice voting for this year's final statewide presidential caucuses.

It's the smallest prize of any state, with just 14 delegates at stake, but the party says the switch could make the April 4 gatherings among the most impassioned and well-attended of the nominating season.

The decision also makes Wyoming the only one of the four caucus states where all participants will rank their choices. Nevada is debuting RCV in presidential politics in February, but for early voters only, not caucus goers.

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"Approval voting can be conducted with no major changes to voting machines or counting procedures," argues Clay Shentrup.

Actually, approval voting beats RCV. (A rebuttal.)

Shentrup is an independent voting methods researcher and activist.

In his Dec. 12 opinion piece for The Fulcrum, "Why RCV beats approval voting," Lee Drutman gets one thing right: America currently uses the world's worst voting method. But his comparison between approval voting and the ranked-choice system called "instant runoff voting" gets the major points wrong. Approval voting beats this form of RCV in every way we can measure.

It's unfortunate to see conflict among those who want to improve the way we vote. Ultimately we're allies pulling toward the same goal of a more fair and just democracy. At the same time, it's important to understand how the voting methods compare.

My aunt favors Elizabeth Warren but will vote for Joe Biden in the Democratic presidential primary because of concerns over electability versus President Donald Trump. Her nightmare is that Warren clinches the nomination, but loses the general election to Trump, leaving her to wish she had strategically voted for Biden in hindsight.

Now imagine we switch to instant runoff voting — the RCV method adopted in Maine in New York City — and dispense with the need for a primary. Drutman argues this eliminates strategic voting. But this is not so; it punishes voters for supporting their honest favorite candidate. Under the rules of IRV, my aunt's strategic choice of Biden would be analogous to misordering the candidates, marking Biden as her first choice instead of Warren in order to help Biden (in her view the strongest candidate) make the final round against Trump. That is, she would promote Warren's early elimination in order to help the stronger candidate, Biden, run against Trump.

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Alaska’s ranked-choice voting, open primary plan a step closer to the November ballot

A ballot measure to create nonpartisan primaries and ranked-choice voting in Alaska appears set to go before voters this fall.

Former state Rep. Jason Grenn, an independent and co-chairman of Alaskans for Better Elections, which led the ballot drive, told Alaska Public Media that as of last week his group had enough signatures to submit the measure for certification.

The initiative would create a primary system in which all candidates for each office appear on a single ballot and the top four vote-getters advance regardless of party affiliation. In the general election, voters would rank the four in order of preference, with an instant runoff determining the winner by factoring in second and third choices if no candidate garnered a majority of top-choice votes.

If adopted, Alaska would become the first state in the country with both an open primary system and ranked-choice voting.

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