Letter to the Editor

Jan 192011
Authors: Eric Fried

This April, city voters will have a choice to either adopt a ranked voting system for city council and mayoral elections or just keep the current flawed system.

Many local voters may not realize you don’t need to win a majority to be elected in Fort Collins –– you only need more votes than anyone else. In almost one-fourth of city elections since 1997, the winner had earned less than 50 percent of the vote. In one six-way split, we elected a mayor with less than 30 percent of the vote. Shouldn’t the winner represent the majority, not the strongest faction?

Ranked voting lets you rank candidates in your preference order. If no one gets a majority, the last-place candidate is eliminated, and votes for that candidate instead go to whomever their voters ranked next on their ballots. The process continues until a majority winner emerges. It’s like having a runoff election, only instantly and at low cost. 

Ranked voting produces a more representative outcome, lets you vote for who you really want, increases access for underrepresented groups, eliminates the “spoiler effect” and promotes more positive campaigning. It helps “We The People” –– right, center and left –– and weakens only political insiders.
Support Ranked Voting on April 5.

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