***Better Ballot Georgia does not endorse or oppose any candidates. This commentary is only about how our election system can be improved for all voters.***
In America, we tend to believe that a candidate who gets the most votes should win and that all votes should count. Here in Georgia, it isn't always like that. There is another factor at play: who can hold on to the most votes after the first election. With our two stage runoff system, candidates can lose up to 80% of their votes in the second election . That's what happened to one candidate in Georgia's 7th congressional district.
|Candidate||Michael Corbin||Mark Gonsalves|
|First Round Votes||18,546||12,311|
There were 19,000 voters who cast their vote in the first election whose votes didn't count in the second. We can't say for sure if the result would have been different if these votes counted. What we can say is that, in Georgia, winning is not just about earning enough votes. You have to hold on to those votes to win a second election. This isn't representative. This is the plight of our current election system. Many votes are thrown out.
All votes should be counted.
Georgia's 2nd Congressional district is another example of this. In a healthy democracy, should we have news articles outlining how candidates lost votes they previously won? Or should we be talking about which candidates earned the most support from voters? Which candidates truly have majority support?
Instant Runoff Voting can change that. Simply allowing people to rank their choices on their ballots means we can hold instant runoffs. Voters don't have to come back to the polls and there is no runoff drop-off. Every vote should count. Instant Runoff Voting ensures every vote is counted.
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