Letter: RCV again will be star attractionThis Sunday the Oscars will again use ranked choice voting to determine which movie has the broadest support.
By: Dag Knudsen, The Republican Eagle
To the Editor:
This Sunday the Oscars will again use ranked choice voting to determine which movie has the broadest support.
I’ll be tuned into the Academy Awards on Sunday, as I was last year, when the Academy also used Ranked Choice Voting (a.k.a. instant runoff voting) — of which I am a big fan — to elect Best Picture.
Academy voters appreciate the value of ranking candidates. The Academy changed to using RCV because plurality voting would theoretically allow a film to take home the Oscar despite being potentially disliked by up to 89 percent of voters. Plurality voting is similar to a Red Wing primary election where winners might only have the support of 20-30 percent of those who vote.
Under RCV, if no film receives a majority of first-choice votes among Academy members, then the last-place finisher is eliminated from the competition and the votes cast for that film are reassigned to the remaining films based on the second preferences on those voters’ ballots. This process continues until one of the nominees receives a majority of votes.
It works like a runoff, but occurs in a single election, avoiding the expense and hassle of a second election. This process is also used in political elections in cities and countries around the US and around the world, including Minneapolis’ and St. Paul.
St. Paul and Minneapolis, like several U.S. cities before them, have demonstrated that the transition to RCV can be a smooth and positive experience.
Red Wing voters will have the opportunity in this fall’s election to vote Yes on the ranked choice voting referendum implementing RCV in Red Wing and thereby contributing to a more representative democracy.
It’s time to bring this much needed upgrade to our elections statewide as well so we will be able to rank our favorite gubernatorial candidates and elect a governor with support of the majority of voters. This hasn’t happened since 1994.