Editorials

FairVote tracks newspaper editorial positions on ranked choice voting and the Fair Representation Act. Here are a few of the number of editorials we've identified:


Anchorage Daily News (AK), July 10, 2021 - What can Alaska learn from New York City on ranked-choice voting? "New York City's ranked-choice election was a success; so was Maine's last fall. Alaska's can be, too — we just have to make sure to do our homework between now and November 2022."

Washington Post, July 7, 2021Ranked-choice voting worked in New York. More places should use it. "Ranked-choice voting should be more common. The already-crowded Maryland Democratic gubernatorial primary due next year, for example, would be a perfect race in which to employ this system."

Portland Tribune (OR), July 7, 2021 - 
Innovation, not suppression, benefits Oregon voters - “Oregonians should continue to think big with innovations that strengthen voter choices. One such method is known as ‘ranked-choice voting,’ which is beginning to take root in communities all across the nation. (...) a report by the City Club of Portland last year concluded that ranked-choice voting would make elections in Portland more equitable. (...) The report noted that after Minneapolis, another majority-white big city, adopted a form of ranked-choice voting in 2006, diversity on the city council has increased.”

Santa Fe New Mexican (NM), July 6, 2021 - New York City gives ranked-choice voting a bad rap - Santa Fe has the current (RCV) system because voters overwhelmingly approved it back in 2008, although it took a court decision to force the city to implement it a decade later. Despite the mess in New York City, Santa Fe has shown the ranked-choice system can work. In 2021, election officials must emphasize comprehensive voter education and outreach. That way, Santa Fe wins again.”

Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel (FL), July 5, 2021 - Voters liked ranked choice voting in NYC mayor's race, and it could come to Florida "Ranked-choice voting has so much going for it, and so little against, that reform-minded Floridians have a large stake in New York City’s primary setting a good example. We wish the Big Apple well in that, along with a better Board of Elections."

Philadelphia Inquirer (PA) July 1, 2021 - Ranked choice voting is worth exploring in Philadelphia "Democracy is strongest when more voices are heard and more people participate. The turnout trends for Philadelphia’s municipal elections are dismal, and often our district council members are reelected without any opposition at all. We are cautiously optimistic about the potential of ranked choice voting."

Tampa Bay Times (FL), June 17, 2021 - Ranked choice voting might be just the ticket:
Clearwater and other cities should be able to try a different way of electing candidates"Ranked-choice voting is not a new or untested system. It’s already working in other states and communities, giving voters clear winners up and down the ballot... With cities such as Sarasota and Clearwater similarly seeking reasonable ways to run fairer, more open elections, it’s time for Florida law to catch up."

South Jersey Times (NJ), June 15, 2021 - It’s a blowout against N.J. GOP’s fringe wing "Reform of New Jersey’s “rigged” primary ballot design is overdue. There’s a case to be made, too, for ranked-choice balloting that can shuffle the order of finish of two or three top contenders.”

New York Times, June 10, 2021- 
Don’t Overthink Ranked-Choice Voting, New York City - “First, vote with your heart, at least for your top choice. Don’t try to game the system or do mental gymnastics about your rankings. The great thing about ranked-choice voting, in contrast to the traditional first-past-the-post method, is that you have the freedom to vote for the candidate you like best and still have a say in the outcome if that candidate doesn’t win.”

Scranton Times-Tribune (PA), May 6, 2021 -Big Apple's big experiment - “The system diminishes negative campaigning because candidates know they need the second-choice votes of some of their rivals. It produces more focus on issues as candidates seek common ground with opponents to become their supporters’ second choice. And it helps third-party candidates to be heard because it eliminates the notion that a vote for an attractive minor-party candidate is 'wasted' in a two-party system.”

Austin Chronicle (TX), April 16, 2021 - 
Chronicle Endorsements for the May 1 City of Austin Special Election “Proposition E (Ranked-Choice Voting): FOR... The mechanism of RCV, which is just what it sounds like (voters could, but wouldn't have to, rank up to five candidates under APR's proposal), saves time and money and allows literally all voters to take part in the "run-off" should they choose, without itself creating election outcomes that would predictably differ from the status quo.”

Roanoke Times (VA) Apr. 10th, 2021 - Virginia Republicans embrace ranked-choice voting (at least for now) "Now, ranked-choice voting is coming to Virginia — and not just with the Republican convention. Last year the General Assembly passed — on largely party-line votes — a bill sponsored by Del. Sally Hudson, D-Charlottesville, that creates a 10-year window for localities to experiment with ranked-choice voting in elections for city council and board of supervisors."

Wyoming Tribune Eagle (WY) Apr. 4th, 2021 - Election reform is needed, but not the kind most legislators want “Overall, though, we think the pros of ranked-choice voting far outweigh the cons. We encourage Wyoming lawmakers to give it a serious look in the interim, and come back next year with a proposal that can be put in place for 2024 and beyond."

Duluth News Tribune (MN) Mar. 15th, 2021 - Like Duluth, state can reject confusion of ranked-choice voting “If the state adopts ranked-choice voting, we could be left voting two different ways on Election Days: the traditional one-vote-for-one-candidate way in local races and the ranked way in state and federal races, with rounds of balloting and counting eliminating candidates one by one.”

Medford Star News (WI) Mar. 3rd, 2021 - Ranked choice voting is worth talking about “Ranked-choice voting may also bolster access for military and overseas voters when a primary race necessitates a runoff. Federal law mandates ballots be sent 45 days ahead of time to overseas voters, a difficult deadline to meet for a primary runoff. Five states use a ranked-choice system for military and overseas voters. This ensures those voters still have a vote in the runoff—their first choice if that candidate is still in the race, or their second choice if the first choice has been eliminated.”

Wisconsin State Journal (WI) Mar. 3rd, 2021 - How to make Congress less divisive “Ranked voting can change that by giving voters across the political spectrum more say — and choice — in who Wisconsin elects for federal office. Instead of candidates having to impress their party’s most intensely partisan supporters, all candidates for a U.S. Senate or House seat would compete in the same primary, with the top five vote-getters advancing to the general election. Voters would then rank those five in order — from their favorite down to their last choice — in the November election.”

Lincoln Journal Star (NE) Feb. 28, 2021 - Ranked-choice voting would help improve state elections “The overlap of the arguments between the Electoral College and ranked-choice voting should be lost on no one. Coalition building and appealing to voters from both parties are imperative to winning – and governing from the middle for the betterment of all people, regardless of their party affiliation.”

McCook Gazette (NE) Feb. 19, 2021 - Ranked-choice voting should get a fair hearing “In general, proponents of ranked-choice voting say it promotes majority support of the winning candidate, discourages negative campaigning, lets voters cast their ballots for candidates they truly feel is best and saves money compared to running primary elections. It also provides an outcome more reflective of the majority of voters rather than extremes on either end of the political spectrum.”

Daily News (NY) Dec. 9, 2020 - Insulting the voters: Ranked-choice voting must go forward in New York City "Victories don’t get much more convincing than this one was: On Nov. 5, 2019, 74% of New Yorkers at the polls said yes to adopting ranked-choice voting for the offices of mayor, public advocate, city controller, borough president and Council, allowing citizens to order their top five favorites on the ballot for each vacancy starting in 2021."

Washington Post (DC) Nov. 11, 2020 This year’s D.C. Council elections show why the city should adopt ranked-choice voting "That far more people voted against the two candidates than for them underscores the need for the District to follow the lead of other cities in adopting ranked-choice voting."

Greenfield Recorder (MA) Oct. 22, 2020 – Editorial: Vote ‘Yes’ on Question 2 "A ranked-choice system could help loosen the logjam of America’s current ideological quagmire. It would allow constituents on both sides of the aisle to vote their conscience — as opposed to the lesser of two evils — without throwing away their vote."

Berkshire Eagle (MA) Oct. 22, 2020 – Our Opinion: Vote yes on 2 for ranked choice voting "Unfortunately, the aforementioned issues that impinge on the democratic process have not been meaningfully addressed by lawmakers. At this juncture, therefore, ranked-choice voting is the best option."

Attleboro Sun Chronicle (MA) Oct. 22, 2020 – Our view: Making the right choice "It would serve as a spur to independent candidates as well as a way of ensuring that every voter feels his or her ballot counts. It should be that simple."

Daily Hampshire Gazette (MA) Oct. 22, 2020 – Editorial: Vote ‘yes’ on Questions 1 and 2 "Ranked-choice voting is not complicated, as some opponents have characterized it. It is a different, and we believe, a more fair way to best represent the desires of an electorate."

Martha's Vineyard Times (MA) Oct. 21, 2020 – Yes, yes, and no "This is a fairer method of voting when there are multiple candidates in a race."

Boston Globe (MA) Oct. 11, 2020 – Vote yes on Question 2 "Massachusetts voters can strike an important blow for majority rule by moving to ranked-choice voting for a number of state and federal elections."

Falmouth Enterprise (MA) Oct. 9, 2020 – Question 2 And Nonvoters "Ranked choice voting, the subject of Question 2 on the November 3 ballot, will certainly improve the election process in general."

Hill County Observer (NY) Oct., 2020 – In ranked-choice voting, a cure for what ails "Too often, the winners of those races now are candidates who capture just 20 percent to 30 percent of the primary vote in a crowded field. A ranked-choice balloting system would yield a candidate with a demonstrated breadth of support, rather than the last candidate standing."

Boulder Daily Camera (CO) Sep. 26, 2020 – Editorial: Vote ‘yes’ on Ballot Question 2E "Ranked choice voting would make it easier for consensus candidates to win. It would reduce the likelihood of votes being divided among several popular but similar candidates, thus allowing a candidate with a small but loyal following to prevail. 

East Bay Times (CA) Sep. 26, 2020 – Editorial: Ranked-choice voting could racially diversify councils "In California, ranked-choice voting potentially could protect cities from state voting rights litigation that has been proliferating for years. Jurisdictions where minorities are underrepresented on the governing boards face threats of costly lawsuits if they don’t convert from at-large elections to balloting by district."

Washington Post (DC) May 15, 2020 - If ever an election needed ranked-choice voting, it’s this one. "A better system — one that empowers voters — is ranked-choice voting, which has seen a surge in popularity in recent years."

St. Louis Post-Dispatch (MO) May 14, 2020 - Ranked-choice voting could make primaries less like free-for-alls. "It gives individual voters more of a stake in the race, knowing that even if their preferred candidate is knocked out, they still have a voice in what happens next."

Buffalo News (NY) May 7, 2020 - Super Tuesday flaw shows early voting needs an update. "One potential solution to this problem is to allow all early voters, including those casting absentee ballots, to choose more than one candidate – the one they prefer and one or two fall-backs that would be used only if a candidate withdraws before the formal election. It’s called ranked-choice voting, and it’s not new."

Schenectady Daily Gazette (NY) March 8, 2020 - Election exposes flaws in early voting "Another solution, at least to the dropout problem, is ranked-choice voting. That allows voters to list their favorite candidates by order of preference. That way, at least your vote is not wasted on a candidate who is no longer in the race."

San Antonio Express-News (TX) March 7, 2020 - Presidential primary process is flawed "And Texas and other states should adopt ranked-choice voting to avoid the problem of voters casting ballots at the start of early voting only to have the candidate of their choice drop out of the race by Election Day."

New York Times (NY) Oct. 15, 2019 - New Yorkers have chance to remake how they vote "When voters are able to express their preferences more fully, they feel more connected to the political process, so it’s no surprise that turnout tends to go up where ranked-choice voting is used."

New York Daily News (NY) October 14, 2019 - Up for the count: New Yorkers should give a thumbs-up to ranked choice voting on November’s ballot  "A better way is on the ballot, called ranked-choice or instant-runoff voting. Voters don’t pick just one candidate; they can rank up to five choices, in order."

Newark Star-Ledger (NJ) September 18, 2019 - How to stop maddening third party spoilers "Ranked-choice voting is the best way to ensure that the winner of an election is someone who actually has the support of the voting majority, not just an electoral plurality. Imagine that: The will of the majority, upheld."

Philadelphia Inquirer (PA) May 26th, 2019 - At large city council president? Plus other ways Philly could evolve "David Thornburgh of the Committee of Seventy has been arguing for something called ranked choice voting, which allows voters to rank multiple candidates in order of preference with winners revealed in what is essentially an instant runoff. A number of municipalities use the process, and it’s an idea worth considering here.A convention, no matter its ultimate format, is likely to include an instant-runoff feature, something that probably would make Chase (who has solid support but a decided ceiling to it) an also-ran when the dust settles."

Boston Globe (MA) March 14, 2009 – How to prevent another Fall River recall election pitfall "The best option, though, would be to enact ranked-choice voting, an electoral system that’s getting more and more traction as a viable alternative because it addresses many pitfalls of our current voting process."

Carroll County Times (MD) Feb. 19, 2019 – Take a closer look at ranked-choice voting for Carroll County "There is no telling if a ranked choice option might’ve changed the outcomes of recent local elections here in Carroll, but can help to elect candidates that reflect the full spectrum of voters. It can also influence how candidates interact with constituents leading up to the election and how they govern once elected, forcing them to find more common ground rather than pandering only to their base."

Crain’s New York Business (NY) Feb. 12, 2019 – Candidates for public advocate bolster case for not having one

Washington Post (DC) Jan. 24, 2019 – It's time for Maryland and Virginia to embrace ranked-choice voting "Legislation in Virginia would permit localities to move to ranked-choice voting, also known as instant-runoff voting, in elections for boards of supervisors and city councils. In Maryland, bills have been introduced that would allow Montgomery County and Baltimore to use ranked-choice voting in elections for county and city offices.

Portland Press Herald (ME) Dec. 28, 2018 – Our View: Noise aside, the fact is that Jared Golden won in Maine’s 2nd District "And finally, as Poliquin repeatedly called ranked-choice voting “unconstitutional,” a federal judge – Lance Walker, an appointee of President Trump – said otherwise in a decision that was essentially upheld by a three-judge appeals panel."

Corvallis Gazette-Times (OR) Nov. 20, 2018 – Ranked choice voting gets a big test in Maine "Those of us in Benton County who have been anxiously awaiting our first opportunity to use ranked choice voting can only jealously cast our eyes to Maine: This month, voters in the state with the other Portland became the first to conduct a federal general election using the alternative voting method."

Boston Globe (MA) Nov. 16, 2018 – Ranked choice voting passes the test in Maine "Ranked-choice voting isn’t perfect. No system is. But a growing number of cities, from Cambridge to Minneapolis and St. Paul to San Francisco and Oakland, have implemented it. So far, Maine is the only state where it’s used for congressional and statewide elections. Other states would do well to follow Maine’s lead — including Massachusetts."

Boston Globe (MA) Nov. 13, 2018 - Our View: Ranked-choice voting satisfies the will of the people "Ranked-choice voting may be new for Congress, but it has been used throughout the country in local races, including for Portland mayor, and has survived challenges in federal and state courts."

New York Times (NY) Nov. 10, 2018 – A Congress for every American "The solution is to elect members through ranked-choice voting, a process in which voters rank listed candidates in order of preference. This sounds complicated in theory, but it works smoothly in practice — ranked-choice voting is already used in cities around the country."

New York Times (NY) Nov. 9, 2018 – America needs a bigger House "There’s a solution, which involves adding 158 new seats to the House of Representatives, making it proportionally similar to most modern democracies."

Baltimore Sun (MD) Sept. 15, 2018 – An election reform agenda for Maryland's next governor and legislature "There’s a solution, which involves adding 158 new seats to the House of Representatives, making it proportionally similar to most modern democracies."

Boston Globe (MA) Sept. 5, 2018 – Ranked choice voting to the rescue? "It’s hard to imagine a better advertisement for ranked-choice voting than this race, which featured an unusually diverse, high-caliber field."

Ft. Lauderdale Sun Sentinel (FL) Aug. 29, 2018 – Fix Florida's flawed primary election "Fewer bruises, faster healing, a fairer representation of most voters’ wishes. Both of Florida’s major parties should want that. So should every voter."

Boston Globe (MA) Aug. 7, 2018 – For better elections, give ranked choice voting a try "Generally speaking, the system did deliver on its promises — and did so at a reasonable added cost of only about $110,000, with none of the major controversies or chaos many of its critics predicted. Now Massachusetts must follow Maine and become the next state to adopt ranked-choice voting."

Economist (UK) July 14, 2018 – American democracy's built-in bias toward rural Republicans "America, however, is plagued by the only democratic vice more troubling than the tyranny of the majority: tyranny of the minority."

Portland Press-Herald (ME) June 24, 2018 – Historic ranked-choice vote worked as promised "Few voters reported being confused by the process. And there is no evidence that ballots were “thrown out” before the end of the process. At least in the Democratic primary for governor, where the most rounds of runoffs were needed to pick a winner, almost everyone who voted expressed a preference between the top two candidates."

Minneapolis Star Tribune (MN) June 22, 2018 – Interest in ranked-choice voting surges "But when a consensus forms that plurality rule isn’t good enough for Minnesota’s democracy, more local demonstrations won’t be a sufficient response to the people’s demand for change. A month of news like this one should tell state lawmakers to expect more citizen calls for ranked-choice voting."

Washington Post (DC) June 14, 2018 – Give ranked choice voting a shot. Our democracy would benefit "That’s why Montgomery County and other localities should consider a reform that empowers the majority by allowing voters to rank their choices."

Economist (UK) June 14, 2018 – In praise of ranked choice voting"In fact, their alliance was not wet leftism; it was a strategic gambit. On June 12th Maine conducted the first-ever statewide election using ranked-choice voting (RCV), in which voters rank the entire field rather than just voting for a single candidate."

Portland Press Herald (ME) June 14, 2018 – Ranked-choice voting test run makes electoral history in Maine "Maine voters Tuesday became the first in the country to use ranked-choice voting in a statewide election, and despite predictions to the contrary, there was no widespread confusion or chaos."

New York Times (NY) June 9, 2018 – Vote for me! For second place, at least? "When voters can express their political preferences more fully, the politicians they elect will be more likely to represent them more fully. And ranked-choice carries no built-in advantage for any party."

Portland Press Herald (ME) May 20, 2018 – Maine's ranked choice voting is a common-sense solution "Demand that our legislators bow to the clear will of the people. Since 2014, Mainers have repeatedly said “yes” to ranked-choice voting."

Minneapolis Star Tribune (MN) April 4, 2018 – Minnesota Legislature shouldn't end ranked choice voting "RCV does a better job of producing a majority winner in multiple-candidate elections than does today’s plurality-wins system. Yet it’s friendlier than the status quo to third-party candidacies because it eases voters’ fears that a vote for a third-party candidate will inadvertently lead to the election of the voter’s least-preferred choice. RCV creates an incentive for candidates to build broad bases of support and a disincentive for harsh attacks on one’s opponents."

Daily Hampshire Gazette (MA) March 1, 2018 – Ranked choice voting worth consideration "Ranked-choice voting is a concept worth considering, and we’re glad that it will get attention this spring in Amherst and Hadley."

Santa Fe New Mexican (NM) Jan. 8, 2018 – Our view: A city election with choices "The intent behind ranked-choice voting is for whoever wins to have broad support."

Albuquerque Journal (NM) Dec. 1, 2017 – Judge makes right call on ranked choice voting "Before the city charter vote on RCV, the Greens had been slammed as “spoilers” in a couple of major races (not in city elections) that were won by Republicans. The theory was that third-place Green candidates pulled from the Democratic base and handed the races to the GOP. With RCV, first- and second-place votes for Democratic and Green candidates were expected to help progressives get a majority."

Star Tribune (MN) Dec. 6, 2016 – Keep experimenting with ranked-choice voting"Ranked voting not only increases chances that the winner in a multi¬candidate race will achieve a majority. It also creates an incentive for candidates to craft messages with centrist appeal, Diamond said."

Portland Press Herald (ME) Nov. 12, 2011Our View: Brennan, ranked-choice voting both winners "Ranked-choice voting, we were warned, would be confusing, and people would stay away from the polls or fill out their ballots incorrectly. In fact, Portland had a better than 40 percent turnout, sky-high for an off-year municipal election, far exceeding the 25 percent turnout predicted by the City Clerk’s Office."

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