Voices & Choices

USA Today: ranked choice voting restores Madison ideals of democracy

USA Today: ranked choice voting restores Madison ideals of democracy

The fire lit by Maine’s example continues to fuel momentum for ranked choice voting.

The latest support for a more democratic voting method comes former State Department official Peter Fromuth in a USA Today column.

Fromuth, who served in both the George W. Bush and Bill Clinton administrations and now works as an attorney in Maine, hails ranked choice voting as a reform worthy of the democratic ideals the founders -- particularly James Madison, our fourth president.

The polarizing, “winner take all” primaries of 2018, which largely shut out moderate viewpoints and resulted in abysmally low plurality wins, would not be an America Madison would want, according to Fromuth.

Contrast the sorry state of our crumbling democracy with Maine’s ranked choice voting primary, which as the author notes drew heavy turnout on both sides and diverse fields of candidates. Fears of spoilers were noticeably absent.

Fromuth writes:

Ranked choice, like polarization, is self-reinforcing. Polarization causes dysfunction, which causes frustration and anger, causing more polarization. Ranked choice creates, well, more choices, which creates more diverse voters, creating more need for compromise, and more space for government to govern. James Madison would approve.”

Read Fromuth’s USA Today column here.


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