New York’s Ranked-Choice Voting

by Jan Frazier

New York  (Washington Insider Magazine) –  It has been two weeks in New York’s ranked-choice voting, and they still isn’t a mayor for the city.

The Board of Elections fumbled the vote tallies, and the city is still waiting on a mayor. It was not specifically tied to the ranked-choice system. However, this is a more complex way of voting, and it is drawing an extended analysis as the people in New York are waiting two weeks to learn the identity of their mayor.

People who are advocates for ranked-choice voting want to maintain the system. Originally, it was a voting system that was used mostly overseas.  However, the largest city in America now uses it for selecting senators and members of Congress as well as for the mayor. 

Maine Secretary of State Shenna Bellows, a Democrat, said, “My concern is that New York’s experience will give ranked-choice voting a black eye.”

Even though New York is struggling at the moment, “election officials and practiced ranked-choice voting experts say they’re still confident in the system.” The officials made a mistake last week in New York City’s mayoral election by forgetting to erase test ballots, and this error could happen in a conventional election, too.

Rob Richie, a co-founder and president of FairVote, said, “It’s obviously super frustrating that they did this, and kind of just head-swirling.” FairVote is a nonprofit organization that is wanting more cities as well as states to adopt ranked-choice voting. 

Politico talked to more than a dozen advocates who are in favor of using ranked-choice voting in their city or state, and they believe that this error was in no way emblematic of what could happen should they adopt the election process.

Julie Fullmer, mayor of Vineyard, Utah, which is “one of two dozen cities in the state to use ranked-choice voting.” Fullmer said, “It’s difficult to compare ourselves to New York. We’re a different state. We got different people running it. We have different processes and different laws about how we do our elections.”

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