Sunday, September 26

like down under

When I worked at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center last spring, an Australian there railed against the American voting system and told me about how it works in Australia. They have ranked-choice voting, also known as instant run-off voting, where you say in what order you like all the candidates. He said that a lot of people, for a lot of offices, just vote by party, but they have many parties, so they can rank them all in order. The end result: it's possible to have multiple parties without endless run-off elections.

Now San Francisco has started rank choice voting, too. In Australia, my friend said, everyone gets the day off, and voting is compulsory. Actually, you don't have to vote for all offices or even any offices; you just have to show up at the polling place or else you get fined. Is this the next step for San Francisco?


Blogger Jon said...

Mandatory voting sounds good. It would at least be interesting to see what would happen if everyone felt compelled to show up. I thought there were some major type drawbacks to ranked choice voting, but I don't remember what they were.

2:32 PM  

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