By Mark Bauer
You know you’ve made it when you get featured in the Grey Lady. Ahead of the New York City mayoral primary election June 22, The New York Times published a groundbreaking explainer on ranked choice voting. The election is the first big test for the new voting system after voters approved it in 2019. New York City’s adoption triples the number of people in the country using ranked choice voting in elections, according to Politico.
The explainer offers answers to all kinds of questions about the new system. Like this one: How does ranked-choice voting change the way candidates run for office?
A: “Fans of ranked-choice voting often point out that candidates have to show that they would be a good representative for everyone. Candidates may highlight similarities with their rivals, or even form alliances, in an attempt to gather second- and third-choice votes as well as first-choice ones.”
And that’s exactly what happens with candidates when a ranked choice voting system is utilized. In the first New York Times’ article to mention ranked choice voting way back in 2004, “New Runoff System in San Francisco Has the Rival Candidates Cooperating,” County Board of Supervisors candidates in an election in San Francisco shared how they were throwing joint-fundraisers despite being rivals in the race.
The New York Times has written about—or at least mentioned—ranked choice voting 153 times in the more than 15 years since, according to a search of the newspaper’s archives at the time of this writing.
Ranked choice voting is seeing increased interest as voters seek ways to reduce polarization in politics.
Mark Bauer is a producer, entrepreneur, day trader and former Independent candidate for Congress in Texas. Previously he spent 10 years as a legal journalist covering the legal market in Texas and regulatory issues in Washington DC. Mark’s primary interests involve using content and storytelling to help different groups of people better understand one another.