Rank Choice Voting explained… in a pretty sweet way!

La Crosse, Wis. (WKBT) – Wisconsin is no stranger to political divide. In an effort to create a more bipartisan legislative chamber, state lawmakers have proposed a plan to change the way we vote. Here’s a breakdown of how the Rank Choice Vote system would work…

We all have a favorite ice cream flavor, but sometimes there are other flavors we enjoy too.

If I had to rank my favorite, I’d put cake batter in first place followed by mint, vanilla, chocolate and strawberry.

This is the same type of ranking system some local legislators want voters to use when it comes to elections.

Representatives across the state propose a switch to Rank Choice Voting, but it can be complicated, so I’ll explain it with ice cream flavors.

Here are my rankings. But I know, these may not also be your rankings. Let’s say a whole pool of people voted for their favorites,

After number one rankings are determined, if none of the flavors receive 50% of the vote, then none of the flavors win. Then, the lowest scoring one is eliminated. However, the second rankings from those who voted for the lowest one, are reallocated to the remaining flavors. One flavor comes out on top, and is the winner. This is a watered down version of how ranked choice, or ‘final five’ voting would work, but for an election.

The effort to change the voting system is co-sponsored by one local official.

“What kind of intrigued me in final 5 voting is.. it really opens the field up to all different types of views,” said Rep. Tony Kurtz, (R) 50th Assembly District.

Representative Kurtz says he thinks this system could help with the standstill of progress in Madison.

“Right now I truly believe we have about 10-12% of the population, particularly in my area, that are to the far left. And you’ve got that 10-12% that are on the far right. And I truly believe there’s 75-80% of us that are right in the middle that want to get things done,” said Kurtz.

Having this system in place could also give third party hopefuls a better chance at winning, that’s according to political analyst Anthony Chergosky.

“If you have more options available, suddenly politics doesn’t become this bloody, head to head matchup. It becomes more of an open competition where maybe you have three, four, five or six candidates who are seriously competing,” said Chergosky.

According to Kurtz, the voting change would only be for congressional elections. He said he doesn’t expect the motion to pass anytime soon, but hopes other legislators will entertain the idea.

Chergosky said using this type of voting system could make our political ad season a little more bearable.
Candidates would still be competing for a second or third ranking, which could eliminate the amount of TV attack ads.