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Las Vegas Review-Journal: Nevada voters lose with ranked choice voting
Guest Author • Oct 28, 2023

Most of us just want elections that are trustworthy. We want it to be easy to vote and hard to cheat. Next year, Nevadans will hold a final vote on whether to add Ranked-Choice Voting to the state Constitution. We hope that a majority of voters will realize this system makes voting harder, especially for vulnerable voters, and reject the plan.

In a normal election, each of us votes for one candidate in each race. This is the idea of “one person, one vote.” But in a ranked-choice election, voters can rank multiple candidates in the same race. This number varies in different systems. In Maine, for example, voters can rank as many candidates as are in the race. In Alaska, and the proposal in Nevada, voters can rank up to five (often called “top-five ranked-choice voting”).

Any ranking system makes it harder to vote and more likely that ballots get thrown out. The burden falls hardest on those who already have a hard time voting. This would include Nevadans with disabilities and those for whom English isn’t their first language.

Even supporters admit that expensive education campaigns are needed for voters to navigate the ranking process. Ranked-choice ballots are longer than normal ballots, taking more time to complete and often requiring additional sheets of paper. In each race, voters have more bubbles to fill in, with candidates listed in rows and preferences in columns. All this is spread across the page, with more fine print and instructions than a normal ballot.

Read the full op-ed on the Las Vegas Review-Journal's website.