| Michael Garman | Newport Daily News |
Earlier this week, Gabe Amo won the Democratic primary to replace Congressman David Cicilline. He’s primed to make history as our first Black Congressman. Amo’s winning campaign should be celebrated, but our “pick-one” voting system leaves something to be desired. We could make our elections stronger with ranked choice voting.
Just ask the nearly 600 Rhode Islanders who cast early or mail votes for Jamestown’s Don Carlson, a top-tier candidate who dropped out of the race amidst a scandal just a week before Primary Day – too late to remove his name from the ballot, and halfway through the early voting.
”This simply isn’t fair.
Thousands had already voted, with hundreds picking Carlson. Those voters don’t get a redo. They were punished for casting their ballot at the time that was most convenient for them.
This simply isn’t fair. None of us – Democrat, Republican or independent – would be happy if we found that we’d unexpectedly wasted our vote on a candidate who dropped out of the election.
Fortunately, ranked choice voting is an easy way to fix this. RCV and early voting are a perfect pairing. Early and mail voting amplify voter access and participation – but this shouldn’t come with the risk of wasting votes.