“LWVUS supports electoral systems at each level of government that encourage participation, are verifiable and auditable and enhance representation for all voters.” LWVUS Position on Electoral Systems.
LWV of PWM is proposing to achieve a NYS position by concurrence with the NYC position on Ranked Choice Voting (RCV), also known as Instant Runoff Voting (IRV).
The proposed position (the “concurrence statement”) is a slightly edited version of the NYC position on RCV, as allowed under League rules when a concurrence for one level of jurisdiction, in this case, NYC, will be used by another level, in this case, NYS.
The NYC position is available here
Most local Leagues use state position in lieu of having their own, and the state position is silent on alternatives to plurality voting (what we use today, except in NYC), Adopting a state position by concurrence will benefit local Leagues who want to support using RCV in local elections. It will also benefit the NYS League to have the position adopted at Convention because it will allow membership to decide without requiring the resources needed for the state League to do a study.
Adopting this position will benefit our Leagues and our communities in all the ways delineated below, and it will particularly benefit socially marginalized groups, under-represented communities, and women to gain elected office, if past experience with RCV proves predictive.
Voting systems that better represent the preferences of the entire electorate, encouraging “sincere” voting rather than “strategic voting” — that is, that allow voters to cast ballots for their favored candidate rather than against the candidate they least favor — result in more candidates throwing their hats into the ring and a greater diversity of winners.
Other benefits include
In 2020, the LWVUS adopted by concurrence an Electoral Systems position (available here) that lays out critical principles for assessing electoral systems. Notably, plurality voting (or first-past-the-post), which is used for most US elections (at federal, state, and local levels) fails many of these. While no voting system satisfies all of them, RCV/IRV offers most benefits and fewest issues. The principles articulated in the US position are:
We propose adopting a NYS position on Ranked Choice Voting by concurrence with the League of New York City’s position, adjusted to be state-wide.
Note that including this language does not bind your League (or its delegates) to vote to adopt the concurrence. By answering this way, you will be asking for the issue to be discussed and voted on at the convention.
To read more about LWVof PWM process of concurring with NYC, please click here.
Available here. (Still in draft form. Suggestions welcome)
Excellent information on Election Reform can be found at FairVote
This is a good educational overview video of the history of RCV and how it work
A couple of addtional alternatives to plurality voting – Approval Voting and Star Voting
A League ally in non-partisan advocacy for RCV in NYS – Ranked Choice NY. The national parent org is Rank The Vote
LWVofPWM YouTube Channel
FairVote YouTube Channel
Whether you have a couple hours a month (or much more), whether you know voting reform is something you care about (or you have doubts but want to learn), or whether there is some other aspect of voting reform you want to educate and advocate for — we’d love to hear from you. Email RCV4NYS@gmail.com