Letter to the editor: S.C. could save money by using ranked-choice voting

Posted

The June primary season is another reminder that S.C. must end its most archaic election practice - the runoff.

S.C. should employ instant runoff voting (IRV) (also called "ranked-choice voting") to eliminate dragging voters and volunteers back to the polls two weeks after the primary election.

Rather than cast a vote for one candidate, voters in IRV elections are able to submit a list of candidates ranked in order of preference. (S.C. voters stationed overseas already do this for primary elections.)

Once all ballots are cast, if there is no candidate with a majority of first-place votes, the candidate with the fewest first-place votes is eliminated. For any ballot that placed the eliminated candidate as the first choice, the ballot would then count toward that ballot's second choice. This process is continued until one candidate has garnered a majority of the ballots. (A simple internet search will yield ample resources explaining the process). The result is one primary election day.

A handful of states (both "red" and "blue") have employed IRV, and the process has been well received. IRV would save taxpayer money and eliminate election volunteers having to work two separate election days.

CHRISTOPHER ELLIOTT

Columbia