| Mazhar Abbas | BNN |

In a unanimous decision that marks a significant shift in how elections will be conducted in Arlington, Virginia, the County Board has embraced ranked choice voting (RCV) for the forthcoming county board election in November. This pivot away from traditional voting methods is not just a local experiment, but a reflection of a growing trend across the United States aimed at refining democratic processes to better reflect the will of the people.

More cooperative and less divisive

The adoption of RCV in Arlington could reshape the political landscape in significant ways. Firstly, it encourages a broader spectrum of candidates to run, knowing that they do not have to be the majority’s first choice to be competitive. This system also incentivizes more positive campaigning, as candidates aim to be the second or third choice of their opponents’ supporters. The November county board election, therefore, not only represents a test of a new voting system but also an experiment in fostering a more cooperative and less divisive political culture.

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