Professor McDaniel Discusses Ranked-Choice Voting

Friday, July 22, 2016
BANGOR DAILY NEWS -- esearchers have found that, put into practice, ranked-choice voting could have the unintended consequences of reducing voter turnout and leading to higher numbers of disqualified ballots when voters make mistakes, potentially worsening inequalities within the electoral process. “When we make voting changes, they often have unintended consequences,” Jason McDaniel, a political scientist at San Francisco State University, said. “They often seem to affect in a negative way marginal populations, and they are more likely not to engage in political participation.” McDaniel found that giving voters the option to rank multiple candidates in order of preference can lead some voters stay home on election day. His research, published last October in the Journal of Urban Affairs, shows that voter turnout in San Francisco — which began using ranked-choice voting to elect mayors in 2004 — declined because of the lack of a simple yes-or-no choice.