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Dear Decaturish – Georgia needs ranked choice voting

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Dear Decaturish – Georgia needs ranked choice voting

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Dear Decaturish,

I write to share my support of ranked choice voting (RCV, also known as instant runoff).  As I understand it, the state of Georgia does not allow counties and municipalities to use RCV, instead of requiring primaries and runoffs, which are costly, confusing, and usually have very low turnout.  Decatur has high civic participation, but often had low voter turnout in runoffs, and transitioned to a no-runoff system in 2017, so now the top vote-getting candidate in city elections is declared the winner, even if they do not garner a majority of votes cast.

Ranked-choice voting is the simple act of ranking your candidates in order of preference, rather than just selecting one. The concept is not new, having been used in sports ranking and elsewhere for years. RCV does not favor one political party over another, instead encouraging all candidates to build consensus among voters.

Such diverse jurisdictions as Utah, Massachusetts, Alaska, Hawaii, and Kansas have embraced RCV for local or statewide elections, saving money while allowing voters to cast ballots in favor of the candidates they want, rather than against the candidates they dislike.

If you would like to learn more about RCV, go to www.fairvote.org.  If you support this nonpartisan effort, sign up at https://www.fairvote.org/get_involved so that your voice can be heard at the state and local level.

Sincerely yours,

Melissa Manrow

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