KC author says U.S. electoral reform would reduce political animosity

Bill Grady
September 21, 2018 - 8:23 am

The Center Strikes Back

A local author and retired army officer says the U.S. election system needs an overhaul and he has a suggestion.

Larry Bradley told an audience at Park University Thursday night that ranked choice voting (RCV) could eliminate a lot of problems. When casting a ballot the voter would mark mark a first pick for an elected office, then a second and so on. If there is no clear 50 percent-plus winner, the other candidates votes are counted immediately.

When someone wins an election with 40 percent of the vote, that leaves 60 percent of the electorate unsatisfied, Bradley said, adding that he believes American elections are administered on the cheap. He favors a more centrist view of politics and he believes the electoral system is behind much of the political polarization today. Bradley details his ideas in his website.

So why haven't voters made the switch to RCV?

"They don't realize that it's out there," Bradley said. "They think that this ballot that we're using now is mandated by the Constitution."

Ranked choice voting has been approved by the courts, Bradley said.

Maine is the only state with RCV, which was used in its June primaries and will be implemented in the November midterms.

Critics say new voting machines make ranked choice voting more costly and there could be legal challenges.

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