News. Debate. Community. Levers for a better democracy.
Check out our Election Dissection blog:
Our panel of experts will be analyzing voting controversies until the 2020 winners are clear.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

"The Iowa caucuses are always held between seven and 10 p.m. on a weekday in the middle of winter," writes Adam Ginsburg.

Why ranked-choice voting is like the Iowa caucuses — but an even better way to choose

Ginsburg is a second-year student at Georgetown University and an intern at FairVote, a nonpartisan group advocating mainly for ranked-choice voting but also the creation of multi-member legislative districts.

Every four years Americans refocus their collective attention on the lovable wackiness of Iowa's first-in-the-nation presidential voting.

For more than a year, the candidates have competed to endear themselves to voters — who will eventually decide these hopefuls' political fate — by munching on deep-fried Oreos or challenging hecklers to push-up contests.

And now, on Monday night, all heck is going to break loose. Hundreds of Democrats will crowd into local libraries and high school gyms to make their case to their neighbors and, eventually, vote publicly with their feet. Unlike any other event in American politics, these caucuses, by discarding the secret ballot while simultaneously prioritizing face-to-face persuasion, emphasize an intensely personal form of politics.

But those aren't the only reasons the Iowa caucuses are unique. They also allow for a voting mindset that is alien to the average American voter: ranking the candidates.

Sign up for The Fulcrum newsletter

Keep reading... Show less
News. Community. Debate. Levers for better democracy.

Sign up for The Fulcrum newsletter.