Ranked Choice is the Wrong Choice

Naperville’s League of Women Voters has tossed numerous issues at Naperville’s City Council in recent years. In virtually every case, they come in arm and arm with progressive activists and Democrat officials to push the latest hip liberal idea of the day.

Their latest notion is to suggest that Naperville’s local elections should employ ranked choice voting instead of the “one person, one vote” approach which has been used since America’s number 1 city was founded.

To be clear, in partisan races, there are some good reasons to take a look at ranked choice voting during primary season. The Parties are broken. There is too much extremism within both the R and D camps. Too often both are producing ridiculous General Election candidates.

But in local races? No … way.

Ranked choice voting has been outright banned in numerous States. It’s often been found to be confusing for voters and it has led to a great many ballots being filled out incompletely or incorrectly. RCV has been a source of great controversy where employed, and when you search where it’s being done, it’s hard to get too excited. Oakland, CA. Berkeley, CA. Evanston, IL to name a few.

If Naperville wants to do something about partisanship and extremism it should revisit the district system which was once passed and then undone. To our knowledge there is no City Naperville’s size in America that has all of its candidates run at large. This effectively mandates candidates have Party support to run as no one will be able to execute a campaign large enough to cover such an area without Party help.

As a result, no one has been elected to Naperville’s dais for a number of years now who was not a Party favorite. Think this doesn’t impact the rhetoric and actions we see and hear on the dais now?

An ambitious Naperville council candidate has near zero chance of winning a seat at-large without Party help. But they could have a chance to win a district that was a 1/5 or 1/6 piece of Naperville.

As to partisan campaigns, gerrymandering is what is causing the extremism we see … not the flipping ballots! Red States and Blue States are driving their opposing Party into extinction – as in each of these States – through gamed election maps and gamed voting laws brought by the Party in control. Our U.S. States are becoming deeper and deeper Red or Blue. Congressmen have little incentive to moderate if it’s a hot primary challenge that concerns them, not their General Election.

Naperville leaders, we suggest telling the LWV that it’s a hard No to the idea of ranked choice voting. But the issues this idea ineffectually seeks to address, namely partisanship and extremism, are legitimate. We suggest those valid concerns could be addressed by revisiting the wards/districts idea which was once passed in Naperville only to be undone.

A unanimous council resolution to both Springfield and Washington, D.C. calling for Fair Maps would be a really good step too.

Show 8 Comments


  1. John Georgias

    Ranked choice voting is another tactic of the left to screw over the voter. It is designed to favor the uni-party and get rid of conservatives. The left once again virtue signals to implement something that has very little virtue.

  2. Steve Chirico

    I’m not convinced that RCV is the answer. We definitely need to do something to ward off extremism. I think that open primaries would be a good start, but we basically have open primaries in our local elections so that would not change anything. I’m not opposed to districts, but that tends to lead to more pet project spending. On the flip side, districts tend to temper the NIMBYs so projects that benefit the city at large are not stopped by a few neighbors. Just some random thoughts.

    • Robert Hacker

      “Ward off extremism” there is not one moderate democrat representing Naperville at the local, state or national level. They are all extreme left progressives.

  3. Jim Haselhorst

    It is interesting that you point out how ranked choice voting solves the partisan nature of election and that since city election are none partisan its not a good fit. But later say that the people elected to city council are “party favorites”, which means that while “officially” city elections are none partisan they have in fact become very partisan in nature. So Rank Choice voting, while in theory is not a good fit, in reality it is.

    On the issues of district, I agree. In fact the voters in Naperville at one time did vote to move to half council members being at large and half by districts. But this was quickly chance by a confusing ballot referendum push by conservatives, which resulted in stopping the half and half solution and continuing the current at large practice. In fact where to draw the lines of each district would become a gerrymandering situation.

    What causes divisive elections around issues is in fact partisanship. This concept that every issue is defined not by it Pros & Cons but by the position of a political party on the issue, which then engages in propaganda campaigns to justify their position. Rather then what should happen which is an informed, data supported, rational discussion of each issues value to the community it will be impacting. Case in point Ranked Choice Voting.

    Finally, Ranked Choice Voting does not inherently favor any political party. What it favors is candidates, candidates that run on the facts of the issues and not on divisive or negative campaigning. Rank Choice Voting favors candidates that voters are confident understand the issues, the facts around the issue, and the issue’s true Pros & Cons rather then a populous candidate that preaches slogans and divisive rhetoric, which is what most candidates choose to be in elections today.

    You want to see less divisiveness in elections, less negative campaigning, less partisanship, etc then want you want is Ranked Choice Voting!!!

  4. Joan Murray

    Naperville City elections are technically “non-partisan”, but we all know they are very partisan. If your believe naperville elections really a are non-partisan then you’ll believe Chicago’s election is also “non-partisan”

  5. Richard Swanson

    If Haselhorst is for ranked voting, then it must be wrong. The LWV wants it since they can’t control who gets on the city council. With RCV they can. In the long run it won’t matter. More and more taxpayers will move out of IL and IL will continue to lose congressional seats and become more irrelevant, along with NY, MA, CA and other blue states.

    • Jim Haselhorst

      Rank Choice voting actually reduces the influence of organizations (political parties, political action committees, organized labor, religious groups, etc) in election outcomes. So Rank Choice Voting would not empower LWV it would reduce its influence.

      Rank Choice voting rewards candidates for staying on the issues and not engaging in negative campaign, divisive political, feel good campaign slogans, etc. It favors no political party or party loyalists, but it does favor candidates that actually engage voters on the pros & cons of addressing the issues our society faces.

      RCV encourage solution oriented elections and discourages finger pointing elections.

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