Rhode Islanders in Support of Ranked-Choice Voting

Rhode Islanders in Support of Ranked-Choice Voting

0 have signed. Let’s get to 100!
At 100 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!
Emily Critz started this petition to RI General Assembly and

There's a phrase that many of us have come to feel an incredible, exhausted dread the moment it's mentioned, and given the year we’ve collectively had, it might not be any of the ones you're thinking of.


I'm talking about the phrase "election year", and I'm talking about the millions of Americans who feel so disenfranchised, disheartened, and disappointed with the current political system that the mention of another round of campaign season 2016 almost makes the rest of 2020 look not so bad.


It's exhausting- and from a professionalism standpoint frankly terrifying- to watch candidates for the highest elected office in our nation sling insults, mud, and accusations at each other, with minimal mention of WHAT they plan to achieve for the American People while they're in office and HOW they plan to do that.
More than just degrading candidates' credibility and professionalism, negative campaigning creates a feeding frenzy of divisiveness in the general public, and it rewards candidates for focusing their campaign around being the lesser of two evils rather than identifying their specific political values and priorities. It's a major contributing factor to why our political system is the hot mess it is today, and why both politicians and the general constituency are having so much trouble shifting their focus from villainizing and beating the opposite party to being able to see common values and objectives across both sides of the aisle.

To make matters worse, in a two-party system, there is a LOT of compromise the American people have to make when it comes to choosing a candidate to get behind (as any hardcore Bernie/Elizabeth Warren/ etc. supporter could tell you this year). In a 2018 Gallup poll, 57% of respondents indicated that they want a third party. Additionally, the Knight Foundation’s 100 Million Project, which released its results this year, cited that almost 92 million people who are registered to vote never show up to cast a ballot- that’s almost HALF of all registered voters in this country. What we should take away from these statistics is that a significant number of people feel underrepresented and disenfranchised with the system. And frankly, it’s understandable. When you watch the candidate you identify most with cede their position to another candidate more willing to tow the party line, it’s easy to feel like the system has failed you. Spoiler: it has. In a plurality system, if you just can’t get behind choosing the lesser of two evils, you are S.O.L.


There is a silver lining here: Ranked-Choice Voting. In a ranked-choice system, constituents vote for candidates in the order of their preference. This means that a candidate doesn’t just have to beat out his opponents to get more votes than anyone else, they have to actually have a majority of the votes to win.
It works like this: if any one candidate receives a majority (more than 50%) of the vote, they are automatically the winner. If no one candidate breaks a majority of the vote (none have received over 50% of the votes), then votes for the lowest- ranking candidate are removed and second choice on those ballots are dispersed to their respective candidates. This continues until one of the candidates receives a majority of the vote.


This system inherently disincentivizes negative campaigning. Think of it like running from a bear attack: rather than pushing your friend down to give yourself better odds of survival, you can simply run a fair race and let Darwin decide who’s going to be lunch. Not only does this completely change the objective of the campaign game for politicians, it also makes room for politicians who don’t necessarily fit the Dem or Republican image enough for endorsement, and it releases voters from having to begrudgingly vote for a candidate who they don’t really want to vote for.
In Rhode Island, Ranked- Choice Voting was introduced in the General Assembly in 2019 and is being held for investigation and review by the Secretary of State (pending an impact report that is due in Jan 2021). My hope is that, if Rhode Islanders can provide an overwhelming show of support for Ranked-Choice Voting- in a statistically tangible way that our State politicians need to pay attention to- we might have a chance to start healing our broken political system, and find a way to make our democracy work for everyone again.

If you’re ready to make some waves of change and you want to add your voice, PLEASE sign this petition, and share with your friends and family. Democracy only works if we the People are willing to work for it.

“Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”
– Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

0 have signed. Let’s get to 100!
At 100 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!