Voices & Choices

Ranked Choice Voting for presidential primaries takes root in the ‘Sunflower State’

Ranked Choice Voting for presidential primaries takes root in the ‘Sunflower State’

In a win for ranked choice voting (RCV) activists nationwide, the Kansas Democratic Party has submitted a proposal to the Democratic National Committee (DNC) to abandon its traditional caucus system and instead adopt an RCV primary.

This proposal would make Kansas the fifth state—joining the likes of Hawaii, Alaska, Iowa and Nevada—that has proposed using some form of RCV in selecting its presidential nominee.

Here’s how the primary would work, according to an article by the Wichita Eagle:

“In the counting process, if a candidate gets less than 15 percent of the first-choice votes cast, those votes will be redistributed to the candidates who were marked as second choice. The process continues until only candidates with 15 percent or more of the votes are left. Then the delegates will be awarded proportionally, based on the candidates’ percentage of the final tally.”

Although the Kansas primary occurs late in the candidate-selection process (three months after the February 3 Iowa caucus), this move is expected to galvanize turnout among voters who may have been daunted by the prospect of participating in an old-style caucus.

Kansas Democratic Chairwoman Vicki Hyatt agrees: “I’m hoping it will generate a lot of energy,” she said.



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