Vt. Senate Committee discusses ranked choice voting
MONTPELIER, Vt. (WCAX) - Vermont lawmakers are expected to resume discussions this week on incorporating ranked-choice voting in the upcoming primary elections.
The Vermont Senate Committee on Government Operations Friday heard from representatives from other states including Colorado and Utah that have experience with ranked-choice voting.
Ranked-choice voting allows voters to rank their choices on the ballot and then the bottom candidates from the voter list are eliminated until one of them reaches 50 percent.
A key area of discussion is if town clerks would be overwhelmed by the added responsibilities of adding the new system.
Josh Daniels, a former county clerk from Utah, testified that ranked-choice voting was not a hard adjustment. “In 2019, we turned over 50% of our staff, we adopted a completely new and different election system, we changed all of our election processes, and we did ranked choice voting, all as novices in the election space. And we did not have any problems. It was actually not that challenging.”
Both Daniels and former Colorado Speaker of the House Terrance Carroll added that voters did not struggle with the change and that more rural voters felt engaged in the voting process.
This discussion will inform a potential transition to ranked-choice voting planned for the 2024 presidential primary.
Vermont Secretary of State Sarah Copeland Hanzas has said she supports the system for presidential primaries but Governor Phil Scott has said he is opposed.
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