“So, who did you vote for Governor?” Right now, if you asked someone this question, you would expect them to answer with one name. Our current voting system, called ‘plurality voting,’ requires that each voter select only one candidate to cast their vote for. However, this is often not ideal. You may have a favorite candidate which you don’t vote for because it would ‘waste your vote’ on someone with no chance of winning. The candidate who wins might not represent the public well, because plurality voting benefits extreme candidates, and causes elections to be dominated by only two parties- shutting out new ideas and movements.
Approval Voting: A Better Way to Vote
Instead of voting for only one candidate, you can select all of the candidates you like. Votes are added as normal and the candidate with the most votes wins!
This simple change:
- Allows voters to vote their conscience
- Elects more representative candidates
- Cools down the political atmosphere
It’s a small change, with big effects. Approval voting removes the ‘spoiler effect,’ since you are not taking votes from one candidate by voting for another. It is easy to understand, with no need to change to a different ballot. It allows people to express their preferences more accurately. Most importantly, it leads to higher voter approval and more representative candidates.
Why We Need It
We are experiencing a time of extremely high polarization but this isn’t the natural state of things. This situation was produced by a broken system and how we elect our leaders plays a huge role in that system.
Approval voting consistently elects the most representative, consensus candidates. This means that polarizing, divisive candidates who only appeal to small portions of the population won’t get as many votes as more broadly appealing candidates.
No More Spoilers
“I like them, but I don’t think they can win.”
With approval voting, you can always vote for your favorite without the fear of helping your least favorite win or wasting your vote.
Approval voting offers a simple, clear reflection of community support, which helps us elect leaders who know how to better represent us.
Help Bring Approval Voting to Utah
You can help bring a better voting system to Utah! Find out how you can help here.