| Graham Moomaw | Virginia Mercury |

On Wednesday, the Republican Party of Virginia announced it will use ranked-choice voting to pick its nominee at its own party-run primary, saying the ranking method will help elevate “the candidate with the broadest base of support.”

No matter who the candidates are, Democrats are heavily favored to keep the Richmond-based 4th Congressional District seat following the death of former Rep. Donald McEachin last month. But the rules the two parties picked for their snap nominating contests are the latest sign that Virginia Republicans seem more eager than Democrats to adopt ranked-choice voting in party-run nomination contests.

It makes sense for both major parties…

Elizabeth Melson, the president of ranked-choice voting advocacy group FairVote Virginia, said a ranking system “can prevent an extreme or fringe candidate from winning with a narrow plurality.”

“It makes sense for both major parties to use this method in nominating conventions or firehouse primaries, especially when filling the seat of a longtime, respected incumbent,” Melson said. “We the people should want to get the candidate with the broadest possible support.”

Democratic officials didn’t give a direct response when asked why ranked-choice voting wasn’t discussed as an option at the public planning meeting for the firehouse primary.

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