What is good remedy to election system?

Published 12:36 am Sunday, November 6, 2016

Hopefully, with any luck, this year’s horrendous national tromp through the gutter will end Tuesday night.

Hopefully, when all the votes are cast, we should have a clear winner and the months and months of, “How did we get to this point with these two bozos as our choices,” can end.

For me, I’ve studied the two major party candidates and have determined I cannot, in good conscience, vote for either of the two.

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Donald Trump is the dream of many, many voters — and outsider who can end some of the ludicrousness of Washington.

The problem is Trump lacks the moral character and mental depth to accomplish his goals. His answers on foreign policy matters often wind up sounding like that of a fifth-grader who didn’t read the homework, but tries hard to make an answer that sounds good for the teacher.

He’s an arrogant man, who seems to have made his fortunes — at least in part — by bending the rules and pushing the bounds of what is ethical in business. Let’s not even talk about his atrocious and outlandish personal behavior toward others, particularly women. The man is not fit to be president.

On the other hand, Hillary Clinton is what’s wrong with America; career politicians lead our country.

The string of allegations and investigations in her wake are staggering. She’s not trustworthy. While the whole email scandal is overblown in its impact on the country, the fact is the incident shows she used poor judgment despite being in a position of authority and trust and misrepresented what she did.
America doesn’t need her, either.

My personal plan is to avoid having to later defend and justify why I voted for one of the horribly inept, unsavory characters. I’ll simply write in someone instead likely either Ohio Gov. John Kasich or independent Evan McMullin.

I understand that neither likely has a snowball’s chance of winning, but I’m not trying to choose the winner. I’m trying to vote my conscience, something I’ll have to live with long after either Trump or Clinton is long gone.

Many Americans seem baffled by the choices and how — out of the millions and millions of people who live in America — these two wound up being the best ones.
The problem is our system of elections. Despite what Trump says, I don’t think it’s rigged, but I don’t think it is created to give us an ability to elect people using logical compromise.

Hopefully, our nation will consider how best to remedy this by making changes to our elections system.

One change worth considering is switching to a ranked choice voting system. Instead of simply choosing a single candidate for president, for example, you could choose as many as were on the ballot, but you have to rank them from most favored to least favored.

The beauty of this system is in the vote counting. On the first vote count only the voter’s first selection is counted. If a single candidate wins more than 50 percent of the vote, the election is over.

If no one earns 50 percent, voters who chose the worst performing candidate as their primary choice get to have their votes for their second choice counted. If no one is at 50 percent after that, the next lowest vote getter is eliminated and their next preferred choice votes are counted.

Under such a system, if I like candidate A, but could settle for candidate B, my alternative choices may help sway the overall choice.

It would also save money by eliminating the need for run-off elections. The decision would be decided instantly.

One has to also think that since non-primary supporters also matter, the result would be fewer negative, opponent-bashing campaign ads.

Wouldn’t that be a pleasant change? A quicker campaign, more fair and less mud slinging? Sign me up.

Kevin Cooper is publisher of The Natchez Democrat. He can be reached at 601-445-3539 or kevin.cooper@natchezdemocrat.com.