State lawmakers introduce bill to bring ranked-choice voting to Wisconsin

Logan Rude :: Channel3000

MADISON, Wis. — Two Democratic state lawmakers are introducing legislation that would bring ranked-choice voting to Wisconsin.

Rep. Mark Spreitzer (D-Beloit) and Sen. Chris Larson introduced the proposal Monday morning.

“Ranked-choice voting is an innovative and practical way to make sure people can vote for who they truly want, rather than vote strategically for who they think has the best chance of winning,” Spreitzer said. “Ranked-choice voting also ensures that those who serve in elected office are there because they have the support of a clear majority of voters.”

Ranked-choice voting systems let voters rank candidates in order of preference rather than selecting a single candidate to support. If a candidate wins an absolute majority (50% plus one vote), then that candidate wins. If no candidate achieves an absolute majority, then the candidate with the least amount of first-choice preferences is eliminated and their votes are distributed among the remaining candidates based on the voters’ next preference.

The process repeats until a candidate receives an absolute majority of the vote.

Larson said implementing ranked-choice voting would make it harder for extremist candidates to win.

“These past four years have shown us all how dangerous extremist candidates can be. RCV makes it much harder for these candidates to win, increases voter choice, and would save state and local governments millions of dollars by eliminating the low-turnout February Primary,” Larson said. “If we want a government that truly reflects our Wisconsin values, ranked-choice voting is a huge step forward.”

The proposal is supported by FairVote , which is a nonpartisan organization that champions electoral reforms.

Ranked-choice voting is already used in places like Minneapolis and has recently been approved in New York City and states like Maine and Alaska.

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