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As I See It

Is second chance voting a better way to elect candidates?



It is a crowded field of democratic candidates for Governor in Wisconsin. Ten candidates have submitted their nomination papers and will have their names on the ballot in the August primary election. It is good that so many people are willing to get involved in the political process. But it also likely means that whoever wins the democratic primary for Governor will be someone the majority of voters didn’t want. With so many candidates, it is possible, perhaps likely, that the winning candidate will capture as little as 20% of the vote. At the democrat’s state convention over the weekend, a straw poll showed candidate Kenda Roys to be the top vote getter, even though she captured just 23% of the vote. That means nearly 80% of those who voted didn’t want Roys to be the party’s nominee. Is there a better way? It is called second choice voting. Instead of voting for just one candidate in an election, voters are asked to choose two candidates, ranking them as their first and second choice. If the winning candidate doesn’t capture a majority of the votes, the second chance votes for the candidate with the least amount of votes are redistributed. If no candidate has captured at least fifty percent of the vote, the votes of the next to last finisher would be redistributed, and so on, until someone captures the majority. It can be complicated, but at least would ensure that the winner of the election is someone favored by a majority of the voters.

Scott Robert Shaw serves as WIZM Program Director and News Director, and delivers the morning news on WKTY, Z-93 and 95.7 The Rock. Scott has been at Mid-West Family La Crosse since 1989, and authors Wisconsin's only daily radio editorial, "As I See It" heard on WIZM each weekday morning and afternoon.

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