Weld's reply was strong and immediate:
"I love Ranked Choice Voting."
The rest of Weld's response demonstrates that his appreciation of this voting method is quite principled -- it's not because he thinks it will always help his personal favorites win:
"It actually made a difference: my candidate lost in one of the Maine House districts because of ranked choice voting. Which is after everyone's first choice is counted, you go and look at the second choice votes [of voters whose favorite candidates were in last place and eliminated], and the Democrat - I was for the Republican - the Democrat won that race in Maine, based on getting more second-choice votes [bringing his combined total to more than 50%].”
Weld then referenced his extensive experience with ranked ballots as a voter:
"I lived in Cambridge Massachusetts for 25 years, which has proportional representation, which is very close to the same thing." Cambridge has used a form of Ranked Choice Voting to elect its nine-member City Council since 1941.
Weld was interviewed on March 9th at the "Austin City Limits Live at The Moody Theater" as part of the "Conversations about America's Future" series sponsored by South by Southwest and the Texas Tribune. In the wide ranging conversation with Wired Magazine's Garrett Graff, Weld also spoke to the value that third party and independent candidates bring to elections.
You can watch the whole interview at the Texas Tribune's website here. Wait through the short ad and intro screen. The Ranked Choice Voting question comes right at minute 25:00.
Ranked Choice Voting is a fair and non-partisan way to give more voice and more choice to Massachusetts voters. Instead of picking just one candidate, Ranked Choice Voting allows you to rank the candidates on your ballot — as many or as few as you prefer — in your order of choice. It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3 — and this simple change has the power to improve our elections.
- Ranked Choice Voting frees voters from being pressured to choose between the "lesser of two evils."
- Ranked Choice Voting solves the problem of "spoiler" candidates, and the problem of vote-splitting among similar candidates.