© 2022 WKSU
Public Radio News for Northeast Ohio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
Government & Politics

What is ranked choice voting and should it be used in Ohio?

Voters line up to cast ballots at the Franklin County Board of Elections, Columbus, Ohio in Nov. 2020
Jo Ingles
/
Statehouse News Bureau
Voters line up to cast ballots at the Franklin County Board of Elections, Columbus, Ohio in Nov. 2020

There’s a new process of voting being used for statewide elections in Alaska and Maine called ranked choice voting. Some have questioned whether it should be used in Ohio in the future, considering the current GOP primary for US Senate has seven candidates.

Stephen Brooks at the Bliss Institute for Applied Politics at the University of Akron says voters can pick multiple candidates but must rank them by preference. The winner must have 50% of the vote plus one. If no one gets a majority, the lowest-ranked candidate is eliminated and the second-place rankings from their voters are added to the others. Brooks says that continues until one candidate gets over the top.

 Stephen Brooks, professor emeritus, Bliss Institute for Applied Politics at the University of Akron
WKSU
/
WKSU
Stephen Brooks, professor emeritus, Bliss Institute for Applied Politics at the University of Akron

“It saves time and money because you don’t have to have a runoff among candidates and also it really ensures that the majority of the voters like the person who gets elected,” Brooks says.

Brooks says the legislature could decide whether all candidates are included in a race or just those of a particular party. And he says it works best when there are three or more candidates on the ballot.

There are currently seven candidates for U.S. Senate in Ohio’s Republican primary. Ohio voters are casting early ballots for that race right now. But there are two federal court suits pending over the district lines for those Congressional seats. And decisions in those could affect this primary.

Web Extra
To listen to Jo Ingles' full interview with Stephen Brooks about Ranked Choice Voting, click here.

Copyright 2022 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.