New Ranked Choice Voting Act Introduced in Congress
US Rep. Jamie Raskin (MD-08) and a group of House colleagues have introduced a bill -- the Ranked Choice Voting Act (HR 4464) -- that would require states to adopt ranked choice voting for primary and general elections for congressional elections beginning in 2022.
Ranked choice voting allows voters to rank the candidates in order of preference and guarantees the winner has over 50% of the vote.
“It makes me proud to introduce this legislation to make America’s elections fairer, more positive, more efficient, and more representative,” said Raskin during a joint press conference with co-sponsor US Rep. Don Beyer (VA-08) and reform leaders and advocates.
“Our legislation will ensure that candidates who are elected to Congress are the ones who have most successfully assembled a majority of voters. It will also lift up the voices of a much broader cross-section of the voting public, because voters who prefer less popular candidates in the first round of voting can still play a role in forging a majority for the ultimate winning candidate. It will also make our campaigns far more positive. Instead of trying to win votes by denigrating their opponent, candidates will have an incentive to flatter other candidates to win over their supporters."
“Ranked choice voting can play a significant role in addressing our hyper-partisan, polarized political environment by discouraging negative campaigning and promoting majority support,” said Beyer.
“At a time when democracy is in jeopardy and approval of Congress is at an all-time low, this is the kind of bold idea we need to reduce the polarization in our politics that prevents common sense solutions from becoming law. Instituting ranked choice voting for all U.S. Senate and House elections and primaries would put voters back in charge and make our Congress function efficiently and we should pass it.”
Other co-sponsors include US Reps. Chellie Pingree (ME-01), Ro Khanna (CA-17), Scott Peters (CA-52), Jim McGovern (MA-02), Joe Kennedy (MA-04), Seth Moulton (MA-06), Ayanna Pressley (MA-07), Joe Kennedy (MA-4), Kathleen Rice (NY-04), Jim Cooper (TN-05), and Steven Cohen (TN-09).
Ranked choice voting is already in use for US House primary and general elections in Maine, which was approved by state voters in 2016. It is also in use in other state races in Maine and in over a dozen cities across the US.