| Reader Commentary | Baltimore Sun |
The Baltimore Sun editorial on ranked choice voting hit the mark precisely (”Time for Maryland to consider a better, fairer way to decide crowded primary elections,” July 28). Two years ago, I moved to Baltimore from Minneapolis where we used ranked choice voting to select our mayor. The first time it was used to elect the mayor in 2013, there were over 30 candidates! While subsequent mayoral races have included a smaller (and more manageable) number of candidates, the outcomes have been positive.
Ranked choice voting ensured that more voters saw a candidate they liked.
For example, since that first time, voter participation in mayoral elections has increased from one election to the next. Furthermore, candidates spent less time attacking one another and more time explaining their views to the public. I always liked more than one candidate and appreciated the chance to show my priorities by showing my first, second and third choices. By asking voters to show their favorite, and second favorite and third favorite, candidates, ranked choice voting ensured that more voters saw a candidate they liked — whether their first, second or third favorite — win office. Wouldn’t it have been useful in our recent Democratic gubernatorial primary to offer voters the chance to show their top three choices?
Yes, it does take time for voters to learn how ranked choice voting works, and, yes, it is worth it and it can be done. Let us follow Takoma Park and employ the system in other Maryland cities and ultimately, statewide. Voters deserve to be heard!
— Jan Kleinman, Baltimore