By HAYDEN LUDWIG
Credit Georgia Republicans for seeing the light: Ranked-choice voting is a trojan horse for flipping red states blue and must be banned immediately.
“Ranked-choice voting is designed to cause confusion and fatigue among voters,” Lt. Gov. Burt Jones recently observed, adding that “this type of voting system [is] pushed by dark money groups.” The Senate agrees, advancing a bill (SB 355) that would ban ranked-choice voting (RCV) in Georgia.
Jones is right on the money, indeed. RCV is pushed by a coalition of leftist groups, chief among them the Maryland-base FairVote, which also aims to abolish the Electoral College and lower the voting age to 16.
Not coincidentally, those policies are also supported by National Popular Vote—the leading anti-Electoral College group—and Rock the Vote, which juices the Democratic youth vote. In fact, both FairVote and Rock the Vote endorsed congressional Democrats’ bill lowering the voting age last year.
It’s no mystery why these sorts of terrible ideas have the same backers. Leftists view RCV as a weapon for conquering red states, which is why they work hard to keep RCV out of Democrat-run Washington, D.C. In May 2023, the D.C. Democratic Party voted against adopting RCV because they feared it would “undermine the strength of Democrats” in the district.
Contrast that with the Left’s support for RCV in Maine and Alaska. Republican candidates won more votes in Maine’s 2018 election and Alaska’s 2022 election—yet both red states sent Democrats to Congress under their ranked-choice voting laws.
That’s because RCV confuses voters, leading to thousands of ballots being trashed—8,000 in Maine and 15,000 in Alaska, respectively. Each one represents a disenfranchised voter. No wonder FairVote brags that its election “reforms” would clinch 2 more Democrat congressional seats in Georgia.
Instead of casting a ballot for a single candidate per office, as Americans have done for centuries, RCV tasks voters with voting for every candidate on the ballot, dramatically complicating a responsible voter’s pre-election research. That might mean stacking as many as 5 candidates on a 1–5 scale beginning with your top pick, many of whom will likely represent the same party and split the Republican vote—as happened in Alaska in 2022.
Tabulators take those results and run through a series of rounds, with each round dropping off the lowest vote-getter until the final candidate is declared the winner. Confused yet?
Understandably, many voters decline to fill in more than 1 or 2 bubbles, and so their ballots are trashed as more rounds continue. Is that fair? Only if you’re a Democrat operative trying to flip red states.
We’ve traced big grants to FairVote from George Soros’ Open Society Foundations, eBay founder Pierre Omidyar, hedge fund billionaire John Arnold, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, and the Tides Foundation. These are the biggest “progressive” mega-donors in America; they only cut checks to political groups they believe will secure Democrat victories.
Alaska’s pro-RCV ballot measure in 2020 was overwhelmingly bankrolled by outside “dark money” interests, who outspent conservatives 3–1 yet won by fewer than 3,800 votes. One of the top donors was Unite America, which has supported RCV campaigns in Pennsylvania, Virginia, Nevada, Arizona, Maine, Oklahoma, and dozens of municipalities.
You can bet that this “dark money” machine will dig deep to fight Alaskans’ campaign to repeal RCV in November 2024.
Alaska may be fighting an uphill battle, but Georgia Republicans still have an opportunity to save their state when the RCV ban goes to the Senate floor. Republicans, do what’s right for Georgia and ban ranked-choice voting.
Hayden Ludwig writes for Restoration of America, where this column first appeared.