Editor: I was surprised to see ranked choice voting characterized as an election “intricacy” in Sun Gazette coverage of Arlington Democrats’ caucus to select a County Board nominee [“First Arlington Candidate Snagged by Instant-Runoff Intricacies,” online].
Rather, it’s a straightforward voting system used by nearly 10 million voters nationwide, and is widely hailed for being more representative of voters’ interests.
I’m an Arlington resident, having become a U.S. citizen just a few years ago and voted for the first time in 2016. Though I recently started working on U.S. election-reform issues I’m hardly an expert on election law. Nonetheless, ranked-choice voting strikes me as a straightforward way to ensure my voice counts in the voting booth. I simply rank my candidates in order of preference. If my favorite candidate comes in dead last, my second choice will be considered, and so forth, until one candidate wins the majority of the votes.
In a race without ranked-choice voting, Barbara Kanninen would have won the Democratic endorsement for County Board with just 31 percent of the vote. With ranked-choice voting, Takis Karantonis was listed as more voters’ second- or third-choice candidate than Kanninen and, thus, handily won the majority of votes.
This isn’t rocket science, it’s smart politics, and I’m glad ranked choice-voting is becoming a part of Arlington party elections.
Sangita Sigdyal, Arlington