Experts believe America’s predominant voting method – called “plurality” voting or first-past-the-post – is among the worst. It’s highly susceptible to vote splitting and the spoiler effect, which motivates tactical voting that fails capture voters’ sincere preferences. It’s conducive to negative campaigns, polarization and hyper-partisanship. It suppresses voter turnout, deters independent or third-party candidates, and produces winners that aren’t particularly popular.
A variety of alternative voting methods aim to address these problems – and in the wake of a tumultuous election season, calls for reform are mounting. But which alternative is best? This debate will compare two of the most promising systems in the context of single-winner elections. Lee Drutman from New America will endorse ranked-choice voting, while Aaron Hamlin from the Center for Election Science will endorse approval voting. Lisa D. T. Rice from Unite America will moderate.