One big problem with most voting systems in the US is everyone feels like they have to vote Rebublican or Democrat, because everyone thinks everyone else (who votes) will pick R or D, because our ballots are all-or-nothing: You pick one person. You might not like them the most! But you can pick only one, so it's a game of balancing who we think will be the best, versus who we think has any chance of winning, given everyone else is worried about electing the person they hate. So we get one of two candidates no-one likes much.
This is stupid; does anyone like this system? So Maine's trying a ranked-choice ballot, where you can actually pick the person you want and not "waste" your vote! Put the person you want at the top; if they get the fewest votes, they're eliminated, but then your vote goes to your number two pick instead of being thrown out! (Repeat this cycle until there's a clear winner.) Everyone's voice is heard; everyone's preferences are taken into account. In fact, everyone's actual preferences are now known (another problem with our current system: we have no clue what people actually prefer!)
Now if only we could pass this everywhere...
Maine voters Tuesday became the first in the country to use ranked-choice voting in a statewide election, and despite predictions to the contrary, there was no widespread confusion or chaos.
Instead, ranked-choice voting and the related people’s veto on the fate of ranked-choice itself appeared to boost interest in the June election, which in turn showed that the voting system worked much the way supporters said it would.
According to the Secretary of State’s Office, the ballots will be brought to Augusta starting Thursday, and the tabulation process will begin. In the next round, the candidate who received the fewest first-place votes will be dropped. Everyone who voted for that candidate will have their second-place choices counted instead, and that process will continue until a candidate has received more than half the votes.
What will be left is a nominee who appeals broadly to the electorate – a candidate who received not only first-place votes but a lot of second- and third-place selections as well. A passionate minority won’t be able to hijack a campaign featuring a large field like before, leaving the majority unhappy but stuck with the selection. No longer do we have to spend valuable time arguing over spoilers instead of debating the issues.