Every year, the treasurer’s office in Arlington County, VA holds a design contest to select the year’s official decal. Students from the county’s high schools submit original designs, one of which will be displayed on 160,000 vehicles throughout the county.
What makes this contest of interest to FairVote? The past two years, the treasurer’s office implemented ranked choice voting to determine the winner of the decal contest. Students will not only witness democracy in action, but will also have first-hand experience with an electoral system guaranteeing winners with majority support. Local applications of ranked choice voting are a great way to introduce the system to those who may not be aware of it otherwise. A number of colleges and universities have adopted ranked choice voting for student government elections, thereby widening its usage and demonstrating its viability as an alternative to first past the post voting.
Voters deserve to be shown that our current voting system is not the only option. Local demonstrations of ranked choice voting can show young voters the potential for American democracy and encourage further participation in it.