Voices & Choices

Iowa Precinct Captain Calls for Ranked Choice Voting

Iowa Precinct Captain Calls for Ranked Choice Voting

As Nevada prepares to host what many believe may be the last presidential nominating caucuses, Iowans have advice on what Nevada and Iowa might do in the future.

Frances Mendenhall, who was a precinct captain in Iowa for the Council Bluffs Third Precinct caucus, writes in an Omaha World-Herald op-ed that ranked choice voting (RCV) preserves the best elements of the Iowa caucuses while correcting the many problems associated with its implementation in 2020.

Mendenhall observes that “caucusing is a problem for anyone who works evenings, has to care for elders or children, has health problems that make it hard for them to get out after dark, is traveling, and the list goes on,” so ranked choice voting with paper ballots would increase turnout and accessibility for Iowa’s contest. RCV still preserves what Mendenhall argues Iowans love about a caucus: “it allows voters to have their second choices weighed in an election… if their favorite candidate doesn't get enough support for ‘viability.’”

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