August 9, 2023
By: Katie Clancy
This week, Governor Pritzker signed a bill assigning a task force to study implementing ranked-choice voting (RCV) in the presidential primary election in Illinois.
The problem is RCV does the exact opposite of what its proponents advocate. It creates a confusing system for voters and an even more difficult time calculating accurate results for clerks’ offices. Neither which inspires much confidence for voters already weary of the integrity of our elections.
Completely upending the current election system is an extreme measure to combat residents from voting for presidential candidates who have already dropped out of the race (which would still be the case in an RCV election).
And they won’t stop at presidential primaries. RCV proponents will try to implement it at the municipal level and in general elections.
In a recent Arlington, Virginia, Democratic primary, there was bipartisan criticism from elected officials and groups like the NAACP expressing their concern that voters weren’t fully educated on the process. This was despite tax dollars spent on education materials to bring voters up to speed on the new practice.
The top vote getter and third most vote getter were the ones to advance to the General Election.
Since then, Virginia has already decided to halt RCV and revert to the traditional voting system for the General Election.
Whether it’s jamming up the ballot counting process for election workers, simply too confusing, or genuinely undemocratic to voters, RCV is prone to mistakes and decreases trust in the election system.
Forcing proponents to settle for a task force this time around was certainly a victory but in order to truly get rid of this deceptive voting system, Illinois residents must demand a full RCV ban to protect the integrity of our election system. Five states have already done so and Illinois should be next.