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Ranked voting idea gets thumbs up from Heim

Brad Williams

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Is there a way to reduce negativity in elections, and possibly get more people to vote? 

A bill introduced recently in the Wisconsin legislature might help, according to La Crosse political scientist Joe Heim. 

He says a ranked-voting system could force candidates to stick more to issues than to attack their opponents. because four or five candidates from a crowded primary field would advance to the general election instead of just two. 

Their totals would be based on how they are rated in order by each voter.        

Heim says the plan would “encourage incumbents to delivery policy, rather than worry about being primaried. If you get through the primary in a lot of places, that means you’ve won. Well, this would make the fact that you’d be moving ahead with four or five people.”

Next week, voters in La Crosse will have 10 candidates for mayor to choose from on a primary ballot.  Only two of those people running will move on to the April election. 

Heim says in a field of five, your favorite candidate would get your vote, but if that person finished last, your vote would go to the next person down on your list.

   

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.