Empower Voters and Weaken Special Interests With Ranked-Choice Voting

Target: U.S. Senator Dick Durbin

Goal: Strengthen democracy by enacting ranked-choice voting at the national level.

Voting is the basis of democracy, and yet America has consistently limited voting through both constitutional and institutional practices. One way to democratize the voting process is by enacting ranked-choice voting on national and local levels.

Ranked-choice voting is when voters rank candidates by preference on their ballots. If a candidate wins a true majority of first votes, they are declared the winner, but if no candidate wins a majority, the candidate with the least first votes is eliminated. The first votes cast for that candidate are removed, lifting the second choices indicated on those ballots. The votes are tallied again to see if any candidate has won a true majority–if not, the process is repeated until a candidate wins an outright majority.

This process will increase the voters’ power in two major ways. Firstly, it will allow for people to vote their conscience–by ranking candidates, you can vote for someone with a smaller chance of winning without the risk of “throwing your vote away.” If that candidate loses, your vote will go towards your second choice, instead of pulling votes from a major candidate. Ranked-choice voting will also lessen the sway of the two-party system by allowing voters to vote for a candidate rather than a party or a platform. It forces candidates to work together and actually win votes instead of fighting against one another.


Dear Senator Durbin,

As you state on your website, “the democratic system is intended to give everyone a vote in the process.” One way that you can enact the democratic system is by working to institute ranked-choice voting on a federal scale. This is a non-partisan tool to enforce actual majority rule and give voters the chance to vote their minds, as opposed to having to vote for “the lesser of two evils.” 

Ranked-choice voting is already in place in several states and cities in the U.S.A in one form or another and is being fought for in others, including your home state of Illinois. The next step is to push for RCV on a national scale, and with your help it will get done all the faster. 

Ranked-choice voting puts voters first, so put the voters first and enact RCV.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Amberzen

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