FairVote IL's top legislative priority is to bring Ranked Choice Voting to the General Election for state offices. We have introduced a bill in the Illinois House and Senate (SB2267) to do so.
Why support ranked choice voting?
- Encourage better voter turnout by allowing people to vote their conscious without worrying about throwing away a vote. We know we have low voter turn out and one reason is that if your preferred candidate is not in the running of the top two- many voters will stay home- in both primaries and general elections. If they can select a second and third choice, they know their vote will still matter even if their preferred candidate does not win.
- Encouraging Winners with Broad Support - By counting voters’ second or third choice votes, RCV will ensure that the winner has the broadest support possible, upholding the principle of majority rule that legitimizes outcomes for voters and candidates.
- Avoiding the spoiler effect – What do Jill Stein, Ralph Nader and Ross Perot have in common? Although Ralph Nadar denies it to this day, there is no question that each of these candidates drew votes away from front runner candidates, some say costing the election for the candidate they were most similar too. We should not overlook the role of dark money to third party candidates to tip the scales to draw votes from one candidate.
- Creating More Civil Campaigns - Voters and candidates in areas with RCV report more civil campaigns because candidates work to find common ground in hopes of earning voter’s backup choices.
National Landscape regarding RCV: Momentum for Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) is growing. At least four states are expected to use RCV in their presidential primaries: Iowa and Nevada (for early voters); Alaska, Hawaii, Wyoming, and Kansas for all voters. Maine passed legislation to use RCV in their presidential elections and will use it in the general election.
In a political moment when many voters are dissatisfied with their choices at the ballot box, ranked choice voting promises to strengthen the voice of every voter by guaranteeing real choices and majority outcomes.