Time for for runoff elections


Adapted from Robert Whitcomb's "Digital Diary,'' in GoLocal24.com

With what seems to be a long-term trend of  well-known third-party gubernatorial candidates preventing any candidate from getting more than 50 percent of the vote in a general election in some states, including Rhode Island, it’s time for the states to have runoff elections between the two biggest vote getters.  The U.S. phenomenon of third-party candidates preventing a candidate in the general election from winning a majority is most entrenched in Maine.

Many Americans would agree with Lee Drutman, writing in Vox:

“{A}  two-party system is inadequate to represent the diversity of public opinion. As a result, a lot of voters feel neither party represents them, even if they tend to vote one way or another. Note, for example, that the share of voters identifying as independents hit a record high (tie) of 46 percent in December 2017. The share of voters saying a third party is needed (because Republican and Democratic parties do not do an adequate job of representing the American people) hit a record high of 61 percent in Gallup’s most recent polling on the question.

“The most obvious benefit of ranked-choice voting is that voters can choose the candidate they most want to elect without having to worry so much about the ‘spoiler effect.’’’

 “{I}ndependents and third-party candidates could run without being spoilers, giving voters more choices and making for a more vibrant political debate.’’

To read Mr. Drutman’s article, please hit this link.