Hans von Spakovsky: ALERT! “Rigged” Choice Voting Robs Voters of Ballots and Throws Elections Into Chaos

January 18th, 2023

In recent weeks, more citizens have become aware of a dangerous threat to America’s election process called “Ranked Choice Voting.” It is appearing in legislation in many states, mostly recently in Virginia, and is sometimes even embraced by Republicans who have not done enough homework to understand the danger it represents.   RCV results in votes being discarded, it causes chaos and confusion among both voters and election officials, and creates opportunities for manipulation of election outcomes through adding and subtracting candidates without voters present and participating at the time.   To name just a few of the problems…. 

Because of this renewed effort by proponents of Rigged Choice Voting, we are re-publishing a recent episode of the Who’s Counting? podcast in which Cleta interviews Hans von Spakovsky, Senior Legal Fellow at The Heritage Foundation.  Hans is an attorney and nationally renowned expert in election law and procedures. In this episode, Cleta and Hans expose this emerging threat to election integrity posed by Rigged Choice Voting. Complex, confusing and arguably unconstitutional; it is destabilizing to our electoral process, unfair to our voters, and must be stopped.  

A report on ranked choice voting by Hans and J. Christian Adams of the Public Interest Legal Foundation can be found here and Hans’ most recent article just published, pointing out the dangers of RCV in real time is here.  

RCV’s failures are already appearing. In Maine in 2018, a GOP candidate won the majority of votes in the first round but a Democrat was declared the winner in subsequent counting rounds after 8,000 votes were discarded.

In the New York City 2021 mayoral race, more than 141,000 ballots (15% of votes cast) were discarded and those citizens lost their political voice.  And worse, the counting took almost three weeks after the election before a winner was declared.  Even liberal CNN published a critique of ranked choice voting:  The hugely consequential New York City Democratic Primary election took place last Tuesday, June 22, and the winner is … “chaos.” www.cnn.com/2021/06/30/opinions/nyc-mayoral-race-ranked-choice-voting-chaos-wierson-honan/index.html

Most recently in Oakland, CA, after the 2022 general election, a school board candidate who came in third is now being told he may have won after the machine was incorrectly programmed by election officials for multiple rounds of RCV ballot tabulation, with this headline in the local newspaper: “After election debacle in Oakland, what’s next for ranked choice voting?”  www.mercurynews.com/2022/12/29/after-election-debacle-in-oakland-whats-next-for-ranked-choice-voting/

And in Alaska, there are bills and an initiative petition already filed to repeal that state’s ranked choice voting system. Petition calls Alaska’s ranked-choice voting a ‘threat to democracy and our Republic’ (alaskawatchman.com)

Call your legislators, your local election officials, and city council and county commissioners.   Put a stop to the rigging of America’s election systems with the so-called ‘ranked choice voting’.