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Ranked Choice Voting for Pennsylvania

This petition had 44 supporters

Americans feel that our democracy is “out of balance,” that government is not addressing issues important to “us,” and that the power of wealthy special interests means we’re all not truly equal citizens. Americans want a fair, honest democracy and are hungry for ideas that move us toward equal participation in civic life.

Under the current system, with more than two candidates in a race, politicians can win a primary and even a general election by talking only to a narrow base of supporters. Candidates appeal to their base and often engage in negative campaigning because it’s an effective strategy for winning elections. They remind their supporters why they dislike or fear the other candidate, rather than telling voters what they stand for themselves. Candidates who appeal to voters in a more positive way are more likely to govern as collaborative leaders.

Ranked Choice Voting is a method of voting in which voters rank candidates in order of preference - 1st choice, 2nd choice, 3rd choice, etc. As a result, every vote counts and very few votes are "wasted.” Voters cast their vote for their favorite candidate knowing that if he or she doesn't gather enough votes to win, their vote will count toward their second choice. All first choices are tallied and in a single-winner race, if no candidate receives a majority of first-choice votes, the less popular candidates are eliminated and ballots cast for these candidates are redistributed to more popular candidates, based on their voters' second choices, until one candidate wins with a majority. 

NEGATIVE CAMPAIGNING: Ranked Choice Voting will reduce negative campaigning because candidates will need to appeal to a broader range of voters for first- and second-choice rankings to build a majority of support. 

CIVIL DIALOGUE ON ISSUES THAT MATTER: Ranked Choice Voting also helps create a richer and, hopefully, more civil dialogue on the issues and increases the diversity of views available for voters to consider by allowing candidates from outside the two major parties to have their views and voices heard. We believe that better governance comes when candidates, of any party, are elected by a majority of voters. 

In short, Ranked Choice Voting is a great step forward towards fair elections for every person and party. There are other states that have already instituted Ranked Choice Voting, and the signers of this petition feel Pennsylvania should follow suit.

Thank you.

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