A group is gathering petition signatures in Missouri in an effort to change the way voters select candidates running for statewide, Congressional and legislative offices.
Under the proposed ballot measure pushed by the bipartisan group called “Better Elections”, voters would rank their top four primary election candidate choices of any party. The four finalists – regardless of party – would then move on to the general election. In the general election, after voters rank their preferred candidates, the candidate with more than 50% would be declared the winner. That’s why it’s called ranked choice voting.
Scott Charton, with Better Elections, said the form of voting would give voters more choices in elections beginning in 2024. He said the vast majority of August primary races feature one candidate.
“In Missouri, it is a way to deal with the feeling we have sometimes that we’re voting for the lesser of two evils. Right now, government and the rules basically tell you that your freedom is limited,” said Charton.
Charton said ranked choice voting is “on the side of voters.”
“It actually encourages more people to get involved in politics because it’s not as controlled by special interests and politicians,” according to Charton. “A voter can still, if they’re a Republican, they can vote for all Republicans. This doesn’t change that. If they’re a Democrat, they can vote for all Democrats. If they’re a green party or a Constitution Party or a Libertarian party person, they can also vote for the party of their choice. We don’t change that. We’re giving voters more choices and more options. We think more choices are good in life. We need them and we certainly could use it in politics. Our elections are toxic, they’re broken.”
In a statement from the Missouri Republican Party, it said the form of voting “sounds confusing because it is confusing.” Nick Myers, the Missouri Republican Party Chairman, says the form of voting would “disenfranchise Missouri voters, just as it has everywhere it has been tried.”
The proposal includes a requirement to fill elected office vacancies with special elections. It would require that voting machines are working properly before any ballots are cast. It would also declare parties have the right to watch as votes are counted.
To hear the Show Me Today interview with Scott Charton, click below. (21:00)
Copyright © 2022 · Missourinet