To the editor:
It is a source of hope in a challenging year that the perspective expressed by the Sun Newspapers Editorial Board on Sept. 17 that “now is the time to make substantial progress toward racial equity,” has neared consensus status across our state.
But action is more challenging than aspiration, and what comes next is not clear.
A place to start, perhaps the place to start, is through adopting ranked-choice voting.
Ranked-choice voting is not a silver bullet. Nothing is. But it is a simple, fair and powerful reform that will make our government more representative of our community’s diverse population.
Ranked-choice voting promotes racial equity three ways.
First, it allows us to eliminate the summer municipal primary that has a low turnout and an unrepresentative group of partisan, activist voters, when money and name recognition are needed to win. Ranked-choice voting allows us to efficiently choose a winner from that pool of candidates through a general election when the electorate is more fully representative of the diversity of our community.
Second, because the primary is no longer a barrier, ranked-choice voting opens the door for more diverse candidates to run and win. The results are clear, when the primary is eliminated, and more voters express their preferences on all the candidates, more diverse candidates, and more women, run and win.
Third, with ranked-choice voting, candidates must reach out beyond their base voters to earn broad support. Candidates must have constructive conversations with all those they hope to represent, and, once in office, represent the full diversity of their districts.
If you live in Bloomington, like me, vote yes for ranked-choice voting on ballot question 3. Tell your friends and neighbors to do the same, and tell your state legislator that, come spring, we expect to see ranked-choice voting advanced statewide at the state capitol.