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Last choice

By AL DIAMON  |  October 5, 2011

"This system is simple," mayoral candidate Jed Rathband said on a campaign video.

Maybe to him, being all educated and everything. But keep in mind that in conventional elections where you just have to place an "X" or fill in an arrow next to the name you support, there are always a few people who can't get it right. As anyone who has ever examined ballots will tell you, there are going to be a voters who feel compelled to put the "X" midway between two names, who put it next to every name, who fill in only the arrow next to the blank line for write-ins, who give up on the whole thing and turn in blank ballots so they can go do something easier. Like their taxes.

And that doesn't take into account citizens who get confused enough that they manage to cast a valid ballot for the wrong candidate. There's no way to measure those numbers, but if you want proof it happens frequently, check out who gets elected to the Legislature.

Ranked choice voting further disenfranchises the dim-witted and easily confused. It places significant barriers in the way of the moderately intelligent and the mathematically challenged. It even makes it tricky for the high-IQ and high-income types ("I'll have my accountant do my voting for me") to be certain they've got it right.

It's a lot more insidious than the GOP's plot to keep the hoi-polloi from registering to vote on election day.

Also, a lot more effective.

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