Ranked Choice Voting Will Exasperate Our “Crisis of Confidence”

Written by Carol Davis

Among many Americans, there is a “crisis of confidence” in our nation’s election processes and procedures. The myriad of problems that have been exposed in recent election cycles have only added to that crisis. How can we encourage Americans to continue to cast their ballots if they think their votes don’t count? As someone who has been both on the frontlines and behind the scenes in America’s elections for over a decade, I’m grateful to say I’m more encouraged now than ever.

As blatant election problems have been exposed, an experienced, skilled, and dedicated army of election integrity experts has formed across the nation. The most powerful attribute of this movement is that they are all working together for a change as force multipliers, instead of working in silos, duplicating efforts, and accomplishing little.

The dedicated work of Cleta Mitchell’s Election Integrity Network and The Virginia Fair Elections Coalition (the folks who created “The Virginia Model” which, in November 2021, began to turn Virginia back to red from radical blue) is giving election integrity advocates across the nation tools, skills, and focus they did not previously have.

National Working Groups meet weekly to exchange strategies and tactics. These groups are allowing the “cream of the crop” – the most effective ideas – to rise to the top and be implemented in many states. The Working Groups each have an area of specialization, such as properly maintaining voter rolls, working to secure the votes of our most vulnerable voters, election legislation reforms, exposing third-party organizations that are infiltrating and influencing election offices, and more.

The knowledge gained in the National Working Groups is then brought back to statewide election integrity coalitions to be implemented in a way that best fits with each state’s election laws. These statewide coalitions are composed of county election integrity task forces, which are critical, because if an election is going to “go off the rails,” it will be at the county level: think Fulton County, Fairfax County, Maricopa County, Cook County, etc.

While this nationwide election integrity network is making great strides, the work will never be finished, because the Left is always coming up with more ideas for subverting our elections, with boatloads of dark money to push and promote those bad ideas. Our Founders warned us that the price of freedom is eternal vigilance, and being eternally vigilant is hard work. Anyone who has ever had a toddler in their home knows that firsthand!

The Left has been able to entrench Vote by Mail in most states, and it continues to erode legislative safeguards meant to keep it from becoming a superhighway to election fraud. The most recent bad election idea the Left is pushing is Ranked Choice Voting (RCV). Those of us who want fair and transparent elections must learn what RCV is, and we must educate our friends, family, and neighbors about how bad it would be for America.

So, what is RCV? While the approach varies from place to place, the short answer is this: RCV is a complex process in which voters rank multiple candidates for each office. It is problematic on many levels. Let’s look at just four of them:

1.) RCV is confusing. Voters must decide ahead of time which candidates they will mark as choice #1, choice #2, choice #3, etc. Do you think researching all the candidates is difficult and time-consuming now? Just think about how much time and effort you would have to invest to be able to rank every candidate on every ballot!

And what if you don’t take the time to research every candidate, but you know who your #1 choice is and you only vote for that one candidate? Well, if no candidate receives a majority of first-place votes, then the candidate with the fewest first-place votes is eliminated. If you choose not to rank any other candidates, your ballot is eliminated as if you had not voted at all. If you rank other candidates, then your next-ranked candidate is moved up to get your first-place vote. Believe it or not, candidates who were losers in the first round can still win.

And the Left is promoting RCV as being simple!

In truth, RCV makes it harder, not easier to vote. Alaska tried RCV and it didn’t work out very well. They are now struggling to repeal it by working with legislators and launching a petition drive to put it on the ballot. In several other areas where RCV was tried, voters are now trying to get rid of it there, too.

2.) RCV disenfranchises voters. The Left promotes RCV as a tool to increase voter turnout, but where it has been tried, it has had the opposite effect. Voters know they must spend more time preparing and researching all the candidates on their ballot and throughout that ranking process, many get confused, exhausted, and frustrated. RCV requires voters to take more time to complete their ballots, leading to more delays and longer lines in polling locations. It also increases the chance of voters making mistakes, creating more spoiled ballots and do-overs, which causes further delays.

3.) RCV is expensive. Due to multiple rounds of adjustments and re-tabulation, RCV requires precise data entry and well-programmed computer systems. When more than just a few ballots must be counted, the entire RCV process must depend entirely upon computers for the counting. Most election jurisdictions don’t have the proper equipment to handle RCV, so more tax money will have to go to purchasing new equipment. Handling ballots multiple times makes it almost impossible to have a trusted ballot chain of custody. In short, RCV makes it harder to count votes.

4.) RCV delays election results, which makes it harder to ensure election transparency and accountability. The multiple rounds of tabulation can’t even begin until every single ballot is processed. The nation witnessed this in Alaska during its recent election, when it was the last state to report results due to delays caused by its RCV system.

Of course, Illinois legislators just love bad ideas, so Ranked Choice Voting has become very appealing to lawmakers in Springfield. So appealing, in fact, that two RCV bills were recently put forward in the House and one in the Senate. Thankfully, a coalition to stop Ranked Choice Voting in Illinois has formed. They have managed to stall those bills – for now – by filing witness slips, sending emails, and making phone calls.

The “eternal vigilance” warned about by our Founding Fathers will be required to prevent RCV from becoming a fixture in Illinois elections. To learn more about RCV, go to stoprcv.com, and stay tuned for Action Alerts and emails from Illinois Family Institute. Help inform and educate your friends, family, neighbors, and even your legislators, since lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are falling for the false promises about RCV.

Carol Davis is the Chairman of Illinois Conservative Union, a statewide 501c4 grassroots coalition of conservative groups and activists working hard for election integrity and against tyrannical government policies and mandates. Nationally, Carol recently worked for D.C.-based FreedomWorks as the National Director for their Election Protection Initiative.