Our voting system is tearing us apart. It prevents us from working together to tackle the real challenges our communities face.
Because we can only choose one candidate, politicians do everything they can to attack their opponent in order to win votes – even primary opponents from their own party. Going low has become the norm. Piles of postcards highlighting the evils of the “other guy”, endless robocalls telling us how we’ll be saved from the other party, and an inbox full of messages imploring us to donate or the bad guys will take over Kentucky. Rather than speak to the issues we care about, politicians pander to the fringes hoping to get just one more vote than everyone else on the ballot.
What happened to “united we stand – divided we fall”?
Kentuckians are experiencing record levels of frustration. Most eligible voters don’t go to the polls. Only 19% of Kentucky voters chose who would represent their party on the ballot in 2019*. Think about it: 14% of registered Republican voters put Matt Bevin** on the ballot and 7% of registered Democrat voters put Andy Beshear on the ballot. Then, only half of us showed up for the general election, meaning Gov. Beshear was elected by not quite 25% of Kentucky voters. Our leaders are clearly not chosen by the majority of Kentuckians.
The good news: there is a simple change we can make that would restore unity in Kentucky. Ranked Choice Voting will give a strong voice to all voters in our elections and ensure candidates with the broadest support get sent to Frankfort.
More choice gives we the people more voice and leads to unity in Kentucky.
As a voter, Ranked Choice Voting allows us to express our full range of views on the ballot — not just one. Voters have the option to rank candidates for office in the order they prefer them: 1, 2, 3. You can vote for your true favorite, and you can compromise with your backup rankings. Political parties will see what we the people want, rather than just the guy who garners the most negative attention.
By allowing voters to rank candidates in the order they like them, Ranked Choice voting helps consolidate, rather than divide, competing factions. Candidates need the support of the broadest possible coalition of their constituents — not just a vocal minority. They need to earn the 2nd and 3rd choice votes of their opponent’s supporters by appealing to what they have in common. With RCV, politicians are rewarded for campaigning on issues and showing compromise, not for tearing down the other side.
Most important? No candidate wins without the support of the majority of voters.
Here’s how it works:
Ranked Choice Voting is the one simple change we need to unite all Kentuckians.
* 2019 Primary turnout: 23.7% of registered Republicans, 18.3% of registered Democrats.
** In 2015, when Republican voter turnout was only 10.5%, Matt Bevin made the ballot with less than FOUR percent of the vote!