Does ranked-choice voting help or hurt democracy? 

A poll worker talks to a voter
A poll worker talks to a voter before they vote on a paper ballot on Election Day in Atlanta.
Brynn Anderson | AP 2020

Ranked-choice voting is a type of voting that allows voters to choose multiple candidates, instead of just one, and rank them by preference — and it’s growing in popularity. Maine started using ranked-choice in federal elections in 2018, and Alaska will begin doing the same next year. More than 50 cities, including Minneapolis, also use it.

Proponents say it helps ensure winners have the approval of a majority of voters, streamlines the election process, and helps balance the ideological extremists in both parties. Critics say it’s too complicated and will alienate voters.

Wednesday, MPR News host Kerri Miller heard both sides. Does ranked-choice voting enhance or harm the democratic process?


  • Jeanne Massey is the executive director of FairVote Minnesota.

  • Nick Murray is a policy analyst at the Maine Policy Institute.

To listen to the full conversation you can use the audio player above.

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