| Eric Tegethoff | Big Sky Connection |
Montana lawmakers are considering banning a way of running elections known as ranked choice voting.
I’m not sure why the state would want to preemptively take this option away
Will Mantell, press secretary with FairVote, said ranked choice voting has benefits – such as for local, nonpartisan elections. He said these elections often are done in two rounds, with the two highest vote getters from round one running off in round two.
Mantell noted that the first round of elections usually has low turnout, forcing cities or counties to pay for two elections.
“With ranked choice voting,” said Mantell, “you can do that all in one election with a ‘instant runoff’ that identifies a majority winner in a crowded field.”
“It’s important to note there are no Montana cities that are actually using ranked choice voting at this point,” said Mantell. “So I’m not sure why the state would want to preemptively take this option away from cities if it’s something that they want to try.”
A similar measure has been introduced in the Idaho Legislature.