Ranked Choice Voting Truth

By Dorothy Moon

They lied to get it on the ballot. Now it is time for the truth.

Paid signature gatherers have been traveling the state over the past year, telling people that their new initiative will result in open primaries, re-enfranchise voters, and create a more fair and equitable system.

None of that is true.

This initiative seeks to change how Idahoans have voted since the beginning by implementing ranked-choice voting (RCV). RCV undermines the American concept of “one person, one vote,” which has given us confidence in our elections for centuries. Instead, it introduces a system that is deliberately confusing and difficult to audit.

Under RCV, voters rank the candidates on the ballot from their first to last choice. Votes are then tabulated in rounds. In the first round, all first choices are counted. If no candidate wins a 50% majority, the lowest vote-getter is eliminated, and ballots listing that candidate as the first choice are recast for their second choice. This process continues until one candidate exceeds 50% and is declared the winner.

Not only is this unnecessarily complicated, it also lacks the transparency needed to ensure our elections are secure. Wherever it has been tried — Seattle, Virginia, Alaska, California — voters have been overwhelmed with confusion and demanded a return to the tried-and-true methods of the past.

RCV can also create “ballot exhaustion.” If voters rank some, yet not all candidates, and their preferred candidates are eliminated, their votes ultimately do not count. A recent RCV election in Alaska saw more than 11,000 ballots exhausted, meaning those voters ultimately did not participate in the election.

RCV changes the nature of our political system. In a winner-take-all election, the candidate with the most votes wins—the candidate that the most voters want. However, in an RCV election, the winner is the candidate a majority can tolerate. This shifts the focus, incentivizing candidates to avoid taking strong stands on issues.

Leftists have long been frustrated that Idaho is a conservative state. Having given up on changing hearts and minds with persuasive arguments, they now want to change the rules of the game. This is part of a long pattern of an insatiable thirst for power: mass mail-in ballots, gerrymandering, unmonitored drop boxes, and even allowing noncitizens to vote.

They know most people would reject such a drastic change to our election system, so they have hidden the truth and even lied about what this initiative does. Make no mistake, this is not about “open primaries.” It is a complete overhaul of how we cast our votes.

Ranked-choice voting is just the latest ploy in the left’s pursuit of unlimited power. I am confident that Idaho voters will reject this radical scheme in November.

Dorothy Moon was elected to serve as the chairwoman of the Idaho Republican Party in July of 2022, and reelected in 2024. Moon served three terms in the Idaho Legislature as State Representative for District 8. Moon’s career in public service has focused on the advancement of individual liberties and reducing the size and scope of government.

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