George Matthews’ letter regarding ranked choice voting (Aug. 6) contained several misconceptions.

First, a voter is not forced to rank all the candidates on a ballot. Voting number 1 for your favorite candidate with no number 2 is a valid strategy. It will not result in disqualification of your ballot.

Second, ranked choice voting is not a conspiracy by the two major parties to keep third party candidates from winning. The truth is quite the opposite. Ranked choice voting helps third party candidates and independents win. It prevents “strategic voting” and allows you to vote your conscience.

Strategic voting is what many people do when they really like an underdog candidate in a three-way race, but if they also intensely dislike the front runner. They vote for the second person in the polls just to try to prevent the front runner from winning. Since they have only one vote, they end up not even expressing their liking for the underdog.

Ranked choice voting makes this strategy obsolete. It allows the voter to say “I like candidate X the best and I want him to win, but if he does not get enough votes to win I want my vote to go to candidate Y.”

With this system in place, independent and third- and fourth-party candidates are more likely to run since they have a greater chance of actually winning. The major parties lose their vice grip on the election process.

Ranked choice voting gives the little guy a fighting chance.

William Phillips, Auburn

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.