| Opinion | HeraldNet.com |
Over 79 million dollars were spent on the Georgia runoff race between incumbent Sen. Raphael Warnock and challenger Hershel Walker. Over 2 million voters spent at least a million hours of human life waiting in lines. The whole country was subjected to yet another month of endless, divisive, negative and tedious TV ads and political punditry. All of which was useless, harmful and avoidable.
If voters could have indicated their second choice among candidates when they voted in November, the ballots of voters whose first choice would be eliminated from the runoff anyway, could have been re-counted using their second choice. How hard is that? With that simple addition to the voting process, all the time and money spent this past month would have been unnecessary and we would have long ago known who Georgia’s senator would be.
Well, guess what. A system called ranked-choice voting (RCV) allows voters to register their second and third choices and for that information to be used exactly as specified above. No “runoff” is needed, and the winner always achieves approval of at least 50 percent of the voters. This system has been adopted in Alaska and Maine and multiple municipalities around the U.S., including recently in Seattle for its city council races. It’s a great idea whose time, for this and many other reasons, has come. Citizen activists are already working to adopt RCV for Washington state.