logo

Many perspectives, 1 simple etiquette

N.H. Lawmakers Say Approval Voting Would Give Voters Greater Representation

image
Created: 20 January, 2016
Updated: 16 October, 2022
2 min read

The Concord Monitor's political blog, the Political Monitor, reported Wednesday that two bills have been introduced in the New Hampshire House of Representatives that would adopt approval voting for municipal and statewide elections. Both bills received initial hearings Tuesday

House Bills 1265 and 1521, sponsored by state Reps. Eric Schleien, Keith Ammon, Frank Edelblut, would allow voters in municipal and statewide elections, respectively, to choose as many candidates as they want on a ballot with multiple candidates. The voting method is commonly referred to as approval voting.

 

 

“You have a lot more information about what the voter thinks about each individual candidate with this method than with the current method,” said Rep. Dan McGuire during Tuesday's hearing.

The Political Monitor reports:

"Approval voting is one type of alternative voting system, among more complicated variants like the Condorcet Method or instant-runoff voting. A number of efforts to allow such systems in New Hampshire have been filed by legislators in recent years, but haven’t received much traction. Advocates of alternative voting systems argue that our current system, called plurality voting, does a poor job of reflecting voters’ opinions, makes it hard for alternative viewpoints to be heard, and leads to divisive politics."

Some proponents used the current GOP presidential primary field to make the case for approval voting.

Under the current system, GOP primary voters can only select one candidate, which doesn't show whether or not they would be willing to support other candidates in the large field. Under approval voting, voters would be given the option to select all the candidates they think are presidential material.

"A half-dozen proponents argued that this would allow voters to truly reflect their opinion, removing the need for strategic voting, or “gaming the system,” in which a primary voter selects a candidate only because they think that candidate has the best chance of winning in the general election," the Political Monitor reports.

Supporters of approval voting argue that not only does this not adequately reflect voter opinion, but it can end up swaying an election for a candidate who does not have the most support.

Opponents and skeptics, however, question the fairness of this voting method. New Hampshire Deputy Secretary of State David Scanlan expressed concern that "allowing a different number of votes would allow those who voted for more candidates to effectively “dilute” the vote of people who vote for fewer candidates," according to the Political Monitor.

In terms of how approval voting might affect the cost or administration of elections, there would be very little changes. The alternative voting method would not require a change in ballot design or the function of ballot counting machines, an excuse used to block the adoption of ranked choice voting in several municipalities across the U.S, despite the will of voters.

Photo Credit: Joseph Sohm / shutterstock.com

Read more

fair maps
Gerrymandering Reform: Are We Asking the Wrong Question?
Photo Credit:  ...
01 March, 2024
-
7 min read
joined hands
10 Reasons Why Americans Are Not as Divided as You Think
Photo by on  Party leaders, politicians, and media pundits and talking heads would have US voters b...
28 February, 2024
-
7 min read
people
LetUsVote: New Campaign Launches to End Discrimination Against Independent Voters
Open Primaries, in partnership with Unite America, announced the launch of LetUsVote Wednesday, a nationwide initiative that aims to mobilize and empower independent voters, who make up the largest voting bloc in the US but are treated like second-class voters....
27 February, 2024
-
4 min read
voting
For Good or Bad, Primary Changes May Be Coming to Elections Near You
Photo Credit:  The last couple of years have seen an increase in states looking to change their prim...
26 February, 2024
-
4 min read
voted
The Primary Problem: Only 8% of Voters Elect 83% of Our Representatives
In his latest podcast, former Democratic presidential candidate and Forward Party Co-Founder Andrew ...
26 February, 2024
-
3 min read
Weber
Blame This One on Secretary of State Weber
Eight years ago, there was a competition still in play between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton wh...
26 February, 2024
-
4 min read