Comment of the Day

Reader: Ranked Choice Voting Gives Third Parties a Viable Chance

Denver could soon have ranked-choice voting.
Denver could soon have ranked-choice voting. Shutterstock file photo
Denver Clerk and Recorder Paul López has been working on a fix for a timing glitch in the city's election system. “Denver’s charter has become antiquated with the way modern elections are to be conducted, and that’s why I’m making two viable recommendations to council to be placed on the November ballot for voters to consider,” López says.

Denver's municipal election schedule currently calls for voting on the first Tuesday in May; if no candidate receives a majority, the two top vote-getters move on to a run-off the first Tuesday in June. But this timeline conflicts with state and federal laws that require a 45-day mailing deadline for active-duty military and overseas citizens and an 18-day mailing deadline for domestic voters.

Moving the May election to April would allow enough time to meet the mailing deadlines dictated by state and local law, while a ranked choice voting system would eliminate the need for a run-off election altogether. No matter which proposal Denver City Council chooses to put on the November ballot, notes López: "We're the best elections model in the country. I have the best team in the country. We would run it with the same excellence of any other election that we've run."

Ranked choice voting has plenty of fans...and foes, as evidenced by comments on our Westword Facebook post of a story about López's suggestions. Says Matt:
Anyone who doesn't like ranked choice voting doesn't understand how it works. The two-party system in our country is a joke, and we have a way to rectify that with this.
Adds Derrick:
Ranked choice gives third parties a viable chance and destroys the “lesser of two evils” argument.
Notes Tony:
This is the solution for “I wish we weren’t locked into two parties.” It is also the solution for each party’s most extreme candidate winning the primaries.
Suggests Tim: 
I've yet to hear any sort of rationale as to why this is a bad idea, other than, "it's too complicated."
Give me a break.
Here's one, from Ted: 
 Did not go so well in New York. I don’t like that redistribution of votes among remaining candidates. I’d rather see the top two vote getters go to a runoff, unless there’s one that already has 65 percent of the votes. Keep it simple.
Another another, from Edward:
Because nothing says democracy like having the losers of the election tell us who we get to vote for. More progressivism idiocy. Every other word in a progressive's head must be "breathe."
But then there's this from Jason:
RAC is a great system that would open the doors to more third-party candidates. It has the potential to end our two-party duopoly, which is why you don't see a lot of Rs or Ds calling for it.
What do you think of ranked choice voting? Should Denver use it for its municipal elections, which are already nonpartisan? Post a comment or share your thoughts at [email protected]
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