| Sam Spangler | KHON2 |
HONOLULU — With just two weeks to go until the 2022 general election, ballots have been mailed out and many are now selecting the people they want in office. But, what if you could pick more than one in the same race and rank your favorites? It’s a process coming to Hawaii’s special elections and is making waves across the country.
It is called ranked choice voting, and it’s gaining steam nationwide in many city elections like New York and San Francisco along with general and primaries in Alaska and Maine.
It keeps candidates from going to the extremes…
Although the process will not be used in this year’s general election here at home, starting next year when Hawai’i has a special federal election or special election of vacant county council seat.
Sen. Rhoads authored Hawaii’s bill. He thinks this is a starting point and a test to see how the system works.
Supporters believe that ranked-choice voting in primary and general elections forces candidates to appeal to more voters. It is also supported by many third-party candidates who say it avoids voting between candidates you might not like.
“It keeps candidates from going to the extremes, catering to their base and trying to win elections just on a turnout from their base, because in a ranked-choice situation you don’t want to alienate everybody else, because they still might vote for you on their second or third choice,” Sen. Rhoads said.
The law goes into effect on January 1, 2023. This year’s general election is on Tuesday, Nov. 8.