Ranked Choice Voting introduces ‘weighted ballot counting'
by Janice Dysinger
Rank Choice Voting is confusing to most voters, it is a strategic game at best as voters will have to not only choose their favorite candidate, but they will have to guess who is likely to win and factor that into 2nd and 3rd choices, to have their vote count at all.
Three Democrat Legislators have introduced ‘Rank Choice Voting’ bills for this 2021 Legislature to consider. Senator Golden from Ashland, Senator Dembrow from Portland and Rep Rayfield from Corvallis brought this counting scheme to us. Rank Choice Voting is only used in Alaska, Maine for selection of their state and congressional members per the National Conference of State Legislatures. Some other cities use it for their local elections.
On March 16, 2021, the Senate Rules Committee heard SB 343 which Permits counties to adopt ranked-choice voting to conduct county elections and SB 791 Establishes ranked choice voting as voting method for selecting winner of nomination for and election to nonpartisan state offices and county and city offices except where home rule charter applies.
A traditional run off race is more definite if a clear winner is not selected on the first vote. In a second separate race, everyone is fully informed as to their choice of governing authority selection. That is why we have a primary vote in the first place.
Rank Choice Voting would require ballot counting tabulators that can do the recalculating of the results that would be necessary as late votes are accumulated. We already have enough mistrust of these machines after the last Presidential Election. Votes were proven to be defective in Michigan due to the fact that the Rank Choice Voting algorithm of ’weighted votes” was in enabled for the calculation. The testimony of the forensic examiner stating these facts is on page 37 of the pdf and a screen shot of that portion of the report is above. The forensic examiner report is linked here: Supreme Court Case for Michigan “Allied Security Operations group” . (see report pictured above)
The National Conference of State Legislatures lists the pros and cons for Rank Choice Voting and one of them is that the legislature will have to supply the machines that can accommodate the software that can do the weighted tabulation. The state will also have to educate the public as to how this election will work. Among the difficulties with this system they list the following concerns:
“Arguments against RCV
Fairness is in the eye of the beholder. Who’s to say that winning with a plurality but not a majority is a problem? In addition, if a voter decides to only vote for one candidate and not rank the others (sometimes called “bullet” voting), and the counting goes to a second level, the voter’s ballot would be “exhausted” and may not count at all, thus nullifying that citizen’s vote.
A Polarized Populace. While supporters argue that ranked choice forces candidates to appeal for second- and third- place votes, doubters say that today’s polarized environment likely means voters won’t cross the aisle in significant numbers anyway.
A Complex System. Because RCV is a divergence from the traditional and historical voting method in the United States there are concerns that the voting populace will not be properly educated about the new system. This could lead to frustration by voters and the possibility that voters will not properly complete their ballots and have their votes nullified if they only vote for one candidate and that candidate does not advance beyond the first round.”
In conclusion, Rank Choice Voting not only has the problems listed above but is a great threat to our election security as it will require the use of ‘weighted ballot counting” option in our counting tabulators. Knowledge of these settings are off limits for the public to know. This setting is part of the Secretary of State Shemia Fagan's secret security plan and only election officials can know it. How will voters know if it is turned off or on for other races?
Voters expect to have the vote counted as one vote, not directed whole or in part to another candidate.