Professor McDaniel: Ranked-Choice Voting Adds Barriers, Decreases Turnout

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

THE NEW YORK TIMES -- Jason McDaniel, an associate professor of Political Science at San Francisco State University, said that while ranked-choice voting might have intuitive appeal to people who favor reform, it was not a panacea.

“The Democratic Party position now is that we need to remove barriers to voting, and I think ranked-choice voting is counter to that,” he said. “My research shows that when you make things more complicated, which this does, there’s going be lower turnout.”

Researchers are still trying to figure out whether it is easier for political outsiders to win under ranked choice, and what that might mean for diversity in political representation.

McDaniel said that because ranked-choice voting “usually advantages people who are incumbents or well-known, or who have a lot of campaign funds,” there was no guarantee that it would shake up the status quo, or that candidates from racial or political minority groups would benefit.