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First-year guard Aaryn Battle (1) dribbles the ball during Thursday evening’s game against Wake Forest in the Petersen Events Center.
Pitt women’s basketball falls back into their old habits, fall to Wake Forest 65-50
By Sara Meyer, Staff Writer • 9:10 am

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First-year guard Aaryn Battle (1) dribbles the ball during Thursday evening’s game against Wake Forest in the Petersen Events Center.
Pitt women’s basketball falls back into their old habits, fall to Wake Forest 65-50
By Sara Meyer, Staff Writer • 9:10 am

Opinion | No, I won’t shut up about ranked choice voting

Opinion+%7C+No%2C+I+won%E2%80%99t+shut+up+about+ranked+choice+voting
Fikayomi Olagbami | Staff Illustrator

Just a few weeks ago, my roommates and I sat huddled together on our couch watching the Republican debate. While it took multiple tries — and multiple free trials — eventually we were able to scrounge up the debate on our small TV screen. The Republicans on TV entertained us, that’s for sure. But, more worryingly, many of them horrified us.

Vivek Ramaswamy’s quote “climate change agenda is a hoax” rang in our ears.

Mike Pence’s promise to “shut down the Federal Department of Education” baffled us.

The blatant lies about “on-demand abortion care” and transphobia dropped in every other sound bite left us all aghast.

I don’t portray myself to be a Republican — many of my previous columns and opinion pieces make that obvious. I was never going to agree with 99% of the things said up on that stage that night and was quite dismayed by many of the lies and attacks made between candidates. However, one thing did shock me that night that I don’t think I ever saw coming.

Some of them weren’t completely nuts.

Sitting here writing this, I can’t think of one opinion up on that stage I 100% agree with. Many things wounded me and physically made me cringe. However, there were quite a few people I was somewhat impressed with. That is those who haven’t fallen to the extremely far-right Trumpism that has been center stage since 2016. People like Nikki Haley, Chris Christie and Asa Hutchinson.

When asked if they would support Trump if he were to win the Republican nominee, Chris Christie and Asa Hutchinson were met with a slew of boos from the crowd. Christie said in response that “booing is allowed, but it doesn’t change the truth.” Hutchinson’s answer was much more direct, calling Trump “morally disqualified” from ever taking the president’s seat again.

While Nikki Haley said she would support Trump, many of her positions surprised me. For example, her position on abortion. She supports abortion bans but recognizes that it places restraints on women’s bodies and is a highly sensitive topic. She wants to support adoption and advocate for the use of contraceptives. Contraceptives are often fought against by pro-life groups.

All this background is to say one thing — we need ranked choice voting.

My roommates had to hear about it when we finished watching the debate, and now you get to hear about it. I won’t shut up. It makes sense, and it’s what this nation needs.

If you haven’t heard of ranked choice voting, maybe you’ve heard of instant-runoff voting. But if not, many people know what runoff elections are thanks to the last few races in Georgia. Essentially, ranked choice voting is normal voting and a runoff election all in one. On election day, a voter will go to the polls and rank their top few choices one, two, three and so on. So when going to count the ballots, if your number one candidate has the least number of votes, they will get thrown out and your vote shifts to the candidate you placed at number two. This continues to happen until eventually, one candidate has over 50% of the vote.

It’s a simple concept when you think about it. It saves a lot of time and a lot of money. It makes my poli sci heart happy.

If you are a devout Republican trying to figure out who to vote for this primary, you are not alone. Maybe you are a moderate Republican and the idea of Trump, DeSantis or Ramaswamy being nominated terrifies you. Or alternatively, you’re extremely conservative and will go to the ends of the earth to make sure Pence wins the primary. Maybe you’re a Trump die-hard or really impressed with Tim Scott. The possibilities are endless.

If we implemented ranked choice voting into all American elections, your decision could be made much easier and you wouldn’t have to fear that your vote might “go to waste.”

Let’s say you really liked Asa Hutchinson, but doubt he’ll get the nomination, so you don’t necessarily want to vote for him. You’d rather vote for Haley, who’s more likely to get the nomination, over somebody like Trump, who you dislike. With ranked choice voting, you could put Hutchinson first, Haley second and Trump last. That way, if Hutchinson doesn’t get over 50% of the votes, your vote then shifts to Haley way before it would ever get to Trump.

Here’s one more example — let’s say you love Donald Trump and really want to see him get the nominee, but you’re worried his crimes have finally caught up to him. With ranked choice voting, you could put Trump as your number one and DeSantis as your number two, because you’d be alright with DeSantis but prefer Trump.

This system would work outside of primary elections too. In general elections, ranked choice voting would allow independents to vote for who they align with most, while still not “wasting their vote” or being blamed for a loss. For instance, if you are really worried about the environment and want to see a member of the Green Party in a seat of power, you can put the Green Party nominee as your number one. But, knowing that there are significantly less Green Party members than there are Democrats, you know you don’t stand as good of a chance. So, you put the Democratic nominee as your second choice because you’d rather see a Democrat over a Republican any day. You never know, you may be surprised by the showing of independents if this was the way we voted in America.

Ranked choice voting makes sense. It’s easy, it saves time, and I believe it would save money. Candidates wouldn’t have to spend more time advertising for a runoff and parties wouldn’t have to get people back out to vote in the dead of winter. It allows people to vote for who they want to vote for, not just for the lesser of two evils who is said to have a better chance of winning.

Ranked choice voting would do a lot for Republicans in the electorate this time around. In a party — and really, in a country — that is so polarized, we definitely need it.

Livia LaMarca is the Assistant Editor of the Opinions desk who misses using the oxford comma. She mostly writes about American political discourse, US pop culture and social movements. Write to her at [email protected] to share your own opinions!

About the Contributor
Livia LaMarca, Assistant Opinions Editor
Livia LaMarca is a junior political science and sociology student from outside of Chicago. You can often find her studying for the LSAT and drinking copious amounts of coffee. Her hobbies include singing, crocheting & knitting, Marvel movies, and hanging with her dog Leo (who she misses very much). She enjoys writing about American political discourse and U.S. pop culture with a particular passion for social justice and equitable social programs. Livia's email —  — is always open if you'd like to share your own opinions or respond to an opinion column of hers.