Readers React: Two votes for ranked-choice voting in L.A.


To the editor: Matt Parker clearly states the ways in which ranked-choice voting empowers citizens to vote freely and leads to fairer outcomes. This method can also reduce negative campaigning, as candidates have an incentive to avoid alienating voters who might pick them as their second choice. (“How to break the hold of the two-party system,” Op-Ed, Nov. 8)

For special elections to fill a vacancy, this method, also known as “instant runoff” voting, reduces the time that residents are without representation. Under ranked-choice voting, the vacancy for the District 1 Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education seat would have been filled on June 3. Instead, voters were without representation until the August 12 runoff.

Ranked-choice voting has already been adopted for municipal elections by several cities in Northern California. Los Angeles should follow suit and adopt this method.


Elizabeth Wall Ralston, Los Angeles

The writer is president of the League of Women Voters of Los Angeles.


To the editor: Parker makes a persuasive case for ranked-choice voting but doesn’t say how to establish such a practice. Who decides?

Parker cites as a problem “a slightly more complicated method of determining the winner,” but that would be taken care of by the computer that counts the ballots. A simple explanation in the voter’s guide could show citizens how to use the features of ranked choice to express their real preferences without “wasting” their votes.

Perhaps this feature alone will induce more people to vote.

Robert Mercer, Los Angeles

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