Replace Plurality General Election With RCV In South Carolina
The South Carolina Elections Commission conducts semi-open, partisan, plurality voting primary elections for the Democrat and Republican parties. The winner of each primary advances to the plurality voting general election. State recognized political third parties conduct self funded conventions to select their nominees to be placed on the general election ballot. Independent candidates qualify for ballot access by collecting and submitting petitions signed by registered voters. This process results in a diversity of candidates on the general election ballot. However, residents are hesitant to vote their conscience knowing that a vote for a third party or independent candidate reduces votes for their next favored major party candidate. This is why plurality voting perpetuates two major parties - regardless of political platform - and noncompetitive minor parties. Also, with plurality voting if there are two equally strong candidates and numerous less popular candidates the election winner will have received less votes than those cast for his/her competition. Ranked choice voting (RCV) eliminates both election deficiencies. A voter selects the idyllic candidate as first choice and the preferred major party candidate as second choice. If no candidate receives a majority vote on the initial count, instant runoffs are conducted using second and less preferred choices until a candidate receives support from the majority of voters.
A coalition of RCV advocates has planned a campaign to implement RCV in South Carolina. All who are interested in participating are invited to the Zoom kick off meeting on Jan 26. A registration link is available at Better Ballot SC Kick Off
The South Carolina Constitution grants all election authority to the General Assembly (legislature) and residents have no initiative authority. Therefore, the only way to implement RCV is by the residents convincing their elected representatives to pass appropriate legislation that must be signed by the Governor. The legislature is currently in session that continues through May 13.
Polling South Carolina Representatives
Now is the time for South Carolina residents to poll their representatives via telephone, email or postal mail asking them if they support RCV and if so would they sponsor a bill. Contact information for state representatives is easily found via S C Legislator Locator or if you know your legislative districts or the names of your legislators you can just click on the appropriate link in the "Polling Results" tables shown below. An example communication is:
Are you receptive to replacing the current plurality voting general election with a ranked choice voting general election? If receptive, are you willing to sponsor a bill to implement RCV?
Polling Results SC Senators
|16 M. Johnson|
|36 K. Johnson|
Polling Results SC Representatives