Posted by Ashley Houghton on April 29, 2020 at 11:02 AM

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

Press Contact: Ashley Houghton
ahoughton@fairvote.org
301-793-6604 

Back-up Contact: Emily Risch
erisch@fairvote.org
202-615-5208

 

STATEMENT: Rep. Justin Amash Announces Candidacy For President

Maine’s Ranked Choice Voting System Offers Long-Term Solution to Vote Splitting and So-Called “Spoiler Candidates”

Takoma Park, April 29, 2020 – FairVote, a nonpartisan organization that advocates for electoral reform in the United States, responded to news that Rep. Justin Amash (I-MI) announced his candidacy as Libertarian candidate for President of the United States.

President and CEO of FairVote, Rob Richie, shared the following statement:

“Any time more than two candidates run for office, our prevailing voting systems break down. Any system limiting voters to one choice inevitably leads to split votes and vitriol against so-called ‘spoiler candidates’. Rep. Amash’s announcement underscores the urgency of adopting Maine’s system of ranked choice voting. The White House shouldn’t be won based on how the majority splits its vote, and voters should never have to choose between the candidate they think will win and the one that they want to win. Instead, ranked choice voting ensures that our elected officials more accurately reflect their constituents.”

Ranked choice voting allows voters to rank candidates in order of preference. If no candidate earns more than 50% of votes, the backup rankings of voters backing a last-place candidate are redistributed until one candidate wins with the majority of the total votes.  

As of April 2020, almost 10 million voting-age adults live in U.S. jurisdictions that either actively use ranked choice voting or have adopted ranked choice voting and plan to implement it for their next round of elections. Four states - Alaska, Wyoming, Kansas, and Hawaii - have combined ranked choice voting and vote-by-mail to hold their Democratic presidential primaries this year. So far, all states have reported a massive increase in voter turnout, with Kansas party leadership announcing three times the turnout compared to the 2016 presidential caucus. 

Maine voters will use ranked choice voting in its primaries and its general election for President, U.S. Senate and U.S. House this November. FairVote has been the national leader on the issue of ranked choice voting since the group was founded in 1992. 

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FairVote is a nonpartisan champion of electoral reforms that give voters greater choice, a stronger voice, and a representative democracy that works for all Americans. 

 

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