Monday, June 1, 2015

Wisconsin Democratic Delegate Calls for RCV to Elect Party Officers

Mark Davis, a delegate to the Democratic Party of Wisconsin (DPW), wrote today in support of changing state party convention rules to establish fairer elections of party officers. Currently, party officers can be elected with a plurality of the vote (less than a majority) after just a single round of voting. Davis rightly offers ranked choice voting (also known as instant runoff voting) as a solution.

While DPW officials have expressed concerns about whether a voting change of this nature is permissible under the party's bylaws, Davis is right in quelling those concerns. DPW bylaws state that “the candidate receiving the most votes shall be declared the winner.” That language allows for the current method of counting in which candidates may win with a plurality of the votes. Ranked choice voting, however, would not contradict that requirement. As Davis states, his colleagues must "have the solidarity, the will, and the knowledge" to move forward and implement a fairer system for electing the party's officers.

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