Ranked-Choice Voting for Post-Trump Electorate? Professor McDaniel Comments

Monday, April 04, 2016
THE ATLANTIC -- But ranked voting appears to have marked downsides when actually put into practice. Jason McDaniel, a Political Science professor at San Francisco State University, has an up-close-and-personal relationship with the alternative ranked system: San Francisco, Oakland and Berkeley all use it in their municipal elections. His research shows moving to ranked voting can actually suppress voter turnout, turning away people who are confused by the lack of a simple yes-or-no choice. And while most political scientists could rattle off the policy differences between every candidate at the drop of a hat, he has found that many voters cannot. So they leave ranking slots blank. “There’s not a lot of, ‘Well, I have all these well-ordered choices.’ That just doesn’t happen very much,” he said. “History tells us there are a lot of unintended consequences of these things, and they tend to make voting harder. And when you make voting harder, fewer people vote.”