Forum, May 17: Ranked choice voting can save our elections

Published: 5/17/2022 12:05:17 PM
Modified: 5/17/2022 12:03:30 PM
Ranked choice voting can save our elections

The “spoiler effect”: a problem that we know all too well, yet too little about. Each time the presidential election comes around, we are met with the inevitable frustration and disillusionment caused by our two-party system. Instead of voting for who we truly believe in, we often cast our ballots for whomever we deem to be the lesser of two evils. Oftentimes, my heart lies with a third-party candidate who I know just doesn’t have a chance of winning. I’d like to politically align myself with the person I actually want to see in office, but I know that voting for anyone besides one of the two major candidates is only making it easier for the candidate I like the least to win. So, instead of casting a vote with conviction, I cast one out of fear. This, in essence, is the spoiler effect.

Many of us believe that voting is not only a right, but a civic duty. So why does only 50% of the population show up to the polls to begin with? In part, many feel they lack the ability to vote for who and what they truly believe in; and really, are they so wrong?

I didn’t learn until recently that there are actually several solutions to the spoiler effect and to our troublesome election system in general — one of them being “ranked choice voting” (RCV). In short, RCV allows voters the option to rank candidates in order of preference: one, two, three and so forth. If your vote cannot help your top choice win, your vote counts for your next choice. In this system, you can vote for the candidate you truly love, while having the peace of mind that your vote won’t be thrown away.

Ranked choice voting is a way to ensure elections are fair for all voters, and it’s already a reality! All 50 states should follow Alaska, Hawaii, Kansas and Wyoming’s lead in 2024 by adopting ranked choice voting as part of their primary process.

If you’d like to learn more about RCV, please visit fairvote.org.

Isabella O’Connor

South Royalton

Cannabis double standard

If I didn’t live in New Hampshire, I might not think much of this, as most politicians seem entrenched in favors and political payback.

But recently, Gov. Sununu, Sen. Bob Giuda (R-District 2) and company openly and brazenly signaled that despite what voters want, they will never give in and legalize cannabis. Since when does defying voters’ wishes serve our country? They even say they are proud of this position, despite surrounding states bringing in cannabis and its economic benefits.

As more New Hampshire police officers make arrests for DWIs (and deaths), the ruling party in New Hampshire is bent on vilifying cannabis.

Rational and compassionate laws are needed and it’s time to bring in new blood to our Statehouse! Let’s all get out the vote this year!

Adam Steinberg

Hanover

Unintended consequences of electric vehicles

Be careful what you wish for!

Yes, a zero emissions goal is not only lofty, but necessary. Not relying on unstable relationships with other nations for our oil supply is a bonus. But the present alternative, electric vehicles, is not the answer … just another problem.

Soon there will be hundreds of millions of batteries in hazardous waste, while the products we need to build those batteries (e.g. lithium) will keep us dependent on other nations.

We have made lots of mistakes throughout history: Eve eating an apple in the Garden of Eden, the Trojans deciding to open the gates to let in the Trojan Horse and the British thinking the American colonists wouldn’t mind taxation without representation are only a few that come to mind. Let’s not make another blunder.

I am not an expert, just a realist. Do your research before you purchase an electric vehicle.

Gretchen Dwyer

Norwich




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