Victoria Gates: Ranked choice voting would reduce partisan gridlock |

Victoria Gates: Ranked choice voting would reduce partisan gridlock

Partisan politics creates gridlock and uncertainty, but it doesn’t have to be this way.

All across the country people are coming together to support common sense policies that combat corruption and fix our broken elections. It’s time to move past partisan bickering with a return to respectful discourse and common sense policy solutions. This is why activists across Colorado are fighting for an innovative election reform known as Ranked Choice Voting.

As a Steamboat resident and chapter leader of RepresentUs, this is what we are fighting for. We are the nation’s largest grassroots anti-corruption campaign, bringing together conservatives, progressives and everyone in between to pass anti-corruption laws in cities and states across America.

Yesterday, Seminars at Steamboat held a public forum to discuss the “Future of the Democratic and Republican Parties.” The policy dialogue featured Elaine Kamarck of The Brookings Institution and Morris Fiorina of The Hoover Institution, moderated by NPR Washington correspondent Ron Elving.

Right now, the way we vote for politicians just isn’t working.

Time and time again, we are forced to pick between the lesser of two evils. With such an array of voices and opinions, politics should not be a binary. This electoral reform will allow voters to rank their choices in the ballot box, effectively reducing partisan gridlock and allowing more viable independent candidates to compete.

A two-party system is inadequate to represent the diversity of public opinion. This was the first year in which Colorado’s 1.2 million unaffiliated voters, who make up some 36 percent of the state’s active voters, could cast their ballots in the primary for the party of their choosing. And yet our two-party duopoly continues to dominate, forcing out other parties and candidates with viable ideas or policy approaches.

Ranked Choice Voting has been passed and used successfully in other cities such as San Francisco and Minneapolis, and it was just passed for use in statewide elections in Maine. These places have seen improved voter turnout, a broader field of candidates and more issue-based campaigns.

Multiple local groups like fellow RepresentUs chapters in Colorado, Strengthening Democracy Colorado, Common Cause Colorado, Colorado People’s Action and more are advocating for this important reform in cities across Colorado.

Our current partisan gridlock continues to produce low voter turnout and high political apathy. To combat this, we are working together to find a system that brings together all political parties in Colorado for common sense reforms. It’s the only way to improve our systems, hold our government officials accountable and move beyond simply red or blue talking points to move crucial policies forward that improve the lives of all Colorado residents.

Help us give the people of Colorado more choice and a louder voice. Learn more about RCV–and join us.

Victoria Gates

Steamboat Springs

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