Maine residents, I need your opinion

Beaglebay

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I read somewhere that if there are 5 candidates, but some people only vote for 3 of them, those voters choices all could be eliminated by the last round, thus disenfranchising them from an actual final vote.

Here it is:

 
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johnlocke

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Haven't thought too deeply on this nor really researched it but on the surface, anyway, it sounds like a good way to get some traction for 3rd parties and if that's the case I would be for it, I think, unless there is some negative I'm not seeing.
 

Beaglebay

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From the above link:

The problem is exhaustion. Not the kind you’re experiencing now, as you cry yourself to sleep at the prospect of another day absorbing the pay-per-view punishment of “Clinton v. Trump: The Rumble in the Rustbelt.” No, this is ballot exhaustion, which happens when voters rank too few candidates to stay meaningful until the final runoff. Say there are five candidates running, but the voter ranks only three, and all three are eliminated prior to the last round. As a result, none of their votes will have gone to the winning candidate or the runner-up. In effect, their ballot doesn’t figure in the outcome.

This may sound like a marginal problem, but its effects can be substantial. Of the four elections Burnett and Kogan studied, none produced an exhaustion rate lower than 9.6 percent. In one case, the 2011 San Francisco mayoral race, just over 27 percent of valid first-round ballots were exhausted before the last tally. “Voters who cast these discarded ballots had no say in the final round of vote redistribution, which decided the election outcome,” Burnett and Kogan write. This is akin to saying that, thanks to RCV, 27 percent of voters who cast primary ballots sat out the general.

When RCV does produce majorities, they may be unconvincing. In 2010 the Australian Labor Party won the House of Representatives with just 38 percent of first-place votes on the initial ballot, while the second-place Liberal-National coalition captured 43 percent. That hardly sounds like a firm mandate.

So much for guaranteed majority rule. What about a more pleasant campaign atmosphere, no-guilt third-party voting, and legislative moderation? Experience suggests there isn’t a lot to look forward to on these fronts, either.

For one thing, much of campaigning in America isn’t done by the candidates themselves but instead by ideologically driven political action committees. A candidate may lay off a near competitor in order to court second-place ballots, but Heritage Action, Planned Parenthood, and other issue organizations in the scrum don’t have anything to gain from compromise.

Quite to the contrary, the system may give life to more strident candidates, hoping to siphon first-place ballots from extreme voters who will give second preference to whichever major party is closest to them. This could result in more comity between the major-party candidates, as fringier competitors blot the airwaves with attacks. Or it might produce strategic coalitions sniping at each other, leaving us effectively back where we started.

But we needn’t rely on hypotheticals. Negative advertising is all over Australian elections. David Crowe, a columnist for The Australian, apparently didn’t get the word about his country’s gentle electioneering. He likened the scare tactics of this year’s federal campaign to those of 2010, another recent “display of pure political desperation.”

Don’t expect ad buys to fall under an RCV system, either. When Oakland first tried RCV for its mayoral race in 2010, candidates spent $1 million; the 2014 race cost them nearly $1.8 million. This may reflect the sense that RCV makes viable a wider range of candidates, so more people run. One way or another, it doesn’t sound like a recipe for a smaller TV war or reduced bickering.

There is also little reason to believe that RCV will promote legislative moderation—or new campaign tactics—at the federal level, because it usually produces outcomes similar to what one would expect from a standard plurality system. In the 2013 Australian federal election, 90 percent of constituencies elected the candidate with the most first-preference votes, which suggests that choice ranking had little effect on the outcome.

And it is hard to ignore the resemblance between the Australian and U.S. governments, as far as partisan divisions go. Despite RCV, just two governments have led in Australia for almost the entire history of the current Federal Parliament: Labor and Liberal-National. (Technically the Liberal and National parties are separate, but they have been allied since the 1920s, and, at least at the national level, a vote for one is effectively a vote for the other.) Every time there is a federal election in Australia, one of the two major parties wins, RCV be damned.

Australians do vote for third-parties at a greater rate than Americans. But this makes sense in a parliamentary system, where small parties can wield outsized influence by joining governing coalitions. That is extremely rare in the American system, so there is little potential for third-party influence, even if RCV could bring more independents into legislatures. It is not a bad thing if RCV enables no-guilt third-party voting, but doing so won’t wrest power from Democrats and Republicans and turn it over to independents.

None of this is to say that RCV is sure to be hazardous. Maybe it is even an experiment worth trying. But it is notable that, in the midst of a presidential campaign that has unmasked deep and dangerous fissures in American politics, concerned citizens are looking to procedural minutiae as their savior. It is difficult to avoid the conclusion that voters are grasping for a solution as simple as the problem is daunting.
 

foobahl

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"When RCV does produce majorities, they may be unconvincing. In 2010 the Australian Labor Party won the House of Representatives with just 38 percent of first-place votes on the initial ballot, while the second-place Liberal-National coalition captured 43 percent. "

This is why I would be against ranked choice voting. If you get the most votes, you get the most votes. I am also not a big believer in runoffs if someone doesn't get 50% of the vote. The election is a picture of the electorate on election day. If the 2nd place person could not be the first place person, they should not be the office holder. I think that scenario happened to a house race in Maine in 2018.
 

Inspector_50

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"When RCV does produce majorities, they may be unconvincing. In 2010 the Australian Labor Party won the House of Representatives with just 38 percent of first-place votes on the initial ballot, while the second-place Liberal-National coalition captured 43 percent. "

This is why I would be against ranked choice voting. If you get the most votes, you get the most votes. I am also not a big believer in runoffs if someone doesn't get 50% of the vote. The election is a picture of the electorate on election day. If the 2nd place person could not be the first place person, they should not be the office holder. I think that scenario happened to a house race in Maine in 2018.
Yeah I didnt get the runoff thing either, still barely do. So this kind of voting is done in other places? I would have to look at how that worked, just have not did much looking into it. My whole thing is, if it helps something that is lacking right now, then ok, but if its just do it just to do it, not sure.
 

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Based on the little I know, I am in favor of it because it would do more to break up the 2 party system.
 

Inspector_50

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Based on the little I know, I am in favor of it because it would do more to break up the 2 party system.
I think in my opinion we are stuck with that for a long time. Its too far in. I am not sure that this would do that, but again, have not looked into it enough to say for sure.
 
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