More Inclusive Leadership is Better Leadership
The benefits of inclusion outweigh the costs of division
In any winner-takes-all-election, Utah candidates can ignore large groups of voters because they only need focus on mobilizing and inspiring their base support.
This can quickly polarize candidates, creating an "us vs. them mentality" that typically leads to campaigns riddled with pettiness and mud-slinging that distracts from discussion of issues most important to Utahns.
Ranked choice voting encourages more civil campaigns, motivating candidates to appeal to a broader spectrum of voters.
Back to the issues
When inspired to appeal to a broader spectrum of voters, candidates are more likely to engage in issue-based conversations with other candidates, as well as potential voters.
When candidates run more issue-based campaigns to receive voters’ second and third-choice votes, they engage with the entire voter population more actively and thoughtfully.
See increased civility in action
Cities that have adopted ranked choice voting have observed more civil campaigning.
- In 2011 Portland, Oregon used a ranked choice voting method for the city's Mayoral election. FairVote.org, an organization that researches election processes and outcomes, found that 41% of survey respondents reported less negative campaigning.
- In another study conducted in November 2013 by Western Washington University and the University of Iowa, only 5% of voters felt that there was a “great deal” of criticism in the ranked-choice voting campaign in contrast to regular elections where 25% of voters reported a “great deal” of criticism.
The same study found that 42% of respondents using ranked choice voting perceived elections as less negative; whereas in traditional elections 28% of respondents perceived elections as less negative.
Increased voter engagement
Reducing the perception of negativity in elections also improves voter’s attitude toward voting and increases voter turnout.
As candidates try to recruit second and third choice voters they will be less likely to engage in negative behavior and attacks on other candidates because the person they are attacking may be a potential voter’s first candidates.
Ranked choice voting has the potential to create a more civil discourse in Utah elections.