Ranked Voting Hyrbid and Other Ideas

I am interested in this as a voting system. However, the problems with it concern me (middling candidates and decreased turnout). I wonder if a hybrid system might be better?

For instance, suppose in the first round (first-choice candidates) there is a clear (more than >50% winner). Then that candidate wins. And it is only the case where there is not a clear (<50%) winner that the ranked voting scheme is employed.

(Obviously all the data is collected on the ballot and is just processed according to this rule.)

Maine Just Voted for a Better Way to Vote

I am against mandatory voting.  There are those will from time to time suggest that we should mandate voting and provide penalties (usually fines) for failing to vote.  This is bad for a couple of reasons.  First, we don’t mandate rights.  We are able to refuse to testify precisely because we have the right to free speech.  This right includes the right to remain silent.  We do not require that our citizens bear arms.  We are, in short, free to not exercise our rights (or more accurately abstention is a form of the same right).

Laws like this will also have a negative impact on marginalized voters.  So, for example, someone who is not able to travel to the voting location or is handicapped in some important fashion.  Why would we want to fine someone who already cannot afford the bus fare to get to the polling station?  There is simply no sense in this.

However, I am in favor of automatic registration.  Why does this right have a registration step?  No one has to register to speak freely.  No one is required to sign up in order to assemble peaceably.  No, registration can and ought to be automatic for voter-aged citizens.

I am also in favor of expanding mail-in ballots for everyone.  Paper ballots are a good thing, and allowing citizens to take as much of their leisure time as necessary to research and scrutinize their ballot is a good thing.  We should want to encourage this kind of behavior.

Now let me outline a couple of more radical ideas I have been kicking around.

For any ballot item, we should want to consider adding an abstention bubble.  This will help ensure that when a voter chooses not to vote on a particular ballot item, they have a way to clearly complete their ballot.  No ballot item should be ambiguously left blank.

Adding an abstention option helps to ensure that the will of the votary is being upheld.  This will also give us metrics and perhaps additional insight into specific voter apathy or ignorance.

This last one is certainly the most radical, but I’m curious what other think so stick around.

On ballot items where we are selecting from among persons (candidates) let’s add an additional bubble which is something like no-confidence.  If this is the clear (>50%) winner in the campaign then the office remains unfilled until a new set of candidates is presented in an emergency election.

Thanks for reading to the end.


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