“A Solution in Search of a Problem”: Election Integrity Experts Release Video on Ranked-Choice Voting

“A Solution in Search of a Problem”: Election Integrity Experts Release Video on Ranked-Choice Voting

May 12, 2023 1 min read

WASHINGTON—The Heritage Foundation, in collaboration with the Honest Elections Project and Save Our States, has released a video detailing their concerns over the push to implement ranked-choice voting in states and local jurisdictions. The video features Hans von Spakovsky, senior legal fellow at The Heritage Foundation, Jason Snead, executive director of the Honest Elections Project, and Trent England, founder and executive director of Save Our States. 

Ranked-choice voting is a confusing and chaotic process that forces voters to rank multiple candidates in every race from first to last choice instead of just voting for one candidate. If no candidate wins more than 50 percent of the first-place votes, then the candidate with the least support is eliminated. Voters who selected that candidate as their number one choice automatically have their votes changed to their second choice, and another round of vote tabulation occurs. 

“This process continues until one of the candidates ends up with a majority of the remaining ballots,” notes von Spakovsky in the video, even though the winner may have been only the second or third place choice of most voters. And voters who fail to rank all of the candidates may have their ballots thrown out and not included in the final count.

In the video, Snead points to a recent California school board election that was wrongly decided because of ranked-choice voting: “Because ranked-choice voting is so complex, nobody caught the mistake, and the wrong winner was certified and installed in office after multiple rounds of vote counting. It took an outside audit to finally uncover the truth.” 

"It’s no wonder that some places have tried ranked-choice voting only to repeal it,” notes England, pointing to Aspen, Colorado, and growing campaigns in Alaska and Utah.  

"Ranked-choice voting is a solution in search of a problem,” von Spakovsky concludes.