How Ranked Choice Voting Would Improve American Democracy

Cambridge. San Francisco. Minneapolis. Portland. Santa Fe. What do these cities have in common? They are all using ranked choice voting (RCV) for local elections. And Amherst and Hadley could be next, along with the Amherst College student government.

This simple enhancement to our current electoral system lets voters rank all candidates on the ballot, and if their top choice doesn't receive enough overall support, their vote transfers to their next choice. They can therefore express their true preferences and not worry about which candidates may have enough support to win. The result is a more vibrant and equitable democracy.

In this panel presentation, the history, application, and future use of RCV will be illustrated. The panelists are:

• Douglas J. Amy of Mt. Holyoke College, Professor Emeritus of Politics at Mount Holyoke College and a national expert on alternative voting systems and voting system reform;

• Mandi Jo Hanneke, Vice Chair of the Amherst Charter Commission and a member of Town Meeting;

• Linda Castronovo, a retired teacher from Amherst Public Schools and Hadley resident;

• Alejandro Nino Quintero '18, an Amherst College student and a member of the Amherst Mascot Committee;

• Jénine Shepherd '20, chair of the Judiciary Council of the Association of Amherst Students;

• Howard Fain, co-founder of FairVote and a member of the Executive Committee of Voter Choice Massachusetts.

RCV has been in limited use in the United States for a century, in different forms that include "instant runoff voting" and "proportional representation". But with increasing awareness of the flaws in our democratic systems and the availability of computer tabulation, it is seeing renewed interest across the country. And in June, Maine will become the first state to use ranked choice voting for non-local elections. Who will be next?

  • March 22, 2018 at 7pm – 8:30pm
  • Converse Hall
    100 Boltwood Ave
    Amherst, MA 01002
    United States
    Google map and directions
  • 16 people are going
  • Andy Anderson
Paul Thomas Manuel Pintado Christoph Cox Lennie Appelquist Kirstin Beatty Davis Bannister Rob Robertson Anna Dalton Judy Raphael David Wilson Elizabeth Popolo Nathan Lockwood Andy Anderson Tom Peake Linda Castronovo Rebecca Downing

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