W. Rko, Dave Dave, Maine discussed on VB in the Middle


Morning six to ten I don't have the right to do this VB right now W. RKO so let's mix it up a little bit do you guys ranked choice voting is Dave Dave done this up in Maine they've had it up in Vermont and there's a big discussion here in Massachusetts it looks like ranked choice voting is going to be on the ballot in twenty twenty that's my gut on this anyway and unless it's stopped and I don't know it's Massachusetts I think great joys warnings gonna be in about twenty twenty and do we want ranked choice voting to be how we do elections here in Massachusetts is a man by the name of Lee good been news on a W. RKO listener line he was on the Federal Election Commission from twenty thirteen to twenty eighteen he was nominated for that post by president Barack Obama as a matter of fact and he knows a little bit more about this than a whole lot of us so Hey Lee welcome to WRKO up in Boston IBM did normal of feedback I'm not sure if I'm on the right one I hope it's not cold play would be stunned fortunate how bout now leave a little bit better I'm here in another conversation but I'll be happy to talk for a good man I like the way you power on his done what we do by the way did I read right as I'm reading your bio are you the Republican lawyer of the year right now in twenty nineteen yeah the Republican National lawyers association thought I had taught enough Seeley's and attended a meeting they passed a plaque my way but the yes side I was named a public a lawyer of the year by by an organization national organization Washington your bio is weird because again as I mentioned you were nominated by Obama to get on the FEC your preceded by none other than don McGann in that pose so you've got a lot of sorts not too many people have Obama and Republican lawyer of the year on their wikipedia page but you do well I was recommended to president Obama to a commissions that by law needed to have three Republicans and three democratic missioners and so senator McConnell recommended my name to president Obama who nominated me for one of the Republican seats and so you got it and as a result of that died I would argue that and the fact that you've actually gone to court and a case involving ranked choice voting for those that don't know what ranked choice voting in as quickly as easily as you can describe it Lee tell people what ranked choice voting is what we're talking about yeah there's another name for ranked choice voting that gives people a better picture either it's called instant runoff voting and for states and localities that prefer to derive a majority winner in a multi candidate field what it does is it gives you one Ballard and it says we're going you cast your first vote but then you cast your second third fourth choices among all the candidates on a multi candidate Ballard and if nobody gets fifty percent on the first panel then we will drop off the lowest vote getters and start counting their second third or fourth choices marked on one ballot and what they effectively do through multiple rounds of counting subsequent choices is there a runoff count using those subsequent choices rather than having a run off election on a separate day until they get to a majority and whoever then comes out on top is the winner right yes and you know it has advantages VP but it also has significant disadvantages of the democratic process as well as individual voters I mean when you have somebody in the state telling you will this person won a majority of votes but let's take the example of the Oakland my oral race in two thousand and ten where there were ten candidates for mayor they went through ten rounds of voting pressure of counting votes preferences and the ultimate winner who won with fifty point three percent of the vote was elected and put over the top with people's seven eight nine ten ten choices so you have to question whether the public can have confidence the person who opened only is a where the winner was fifty point five percent of the vote actually has majoritarian support when they counted on people seven eight nine choices to get it well you know the one around here up in Maine in twenty eighteen it was Bruce Pollack when I was a congressman he was dead rank choice in his district he got forty nine percent of the vote you gotta get fifty he got forty nine percent so then they went to rank choice voting and he's no longer in Congress after they did the rank choice counting he lost and so he was out even though he won the vote heating get quite to the threshold he just fell short and he ended up out of a job and and and here's another disadvantage of the voting system so Bruce Poliquin actual forty six point five percent forty five percent of the vote on the first count then the state dropped to independent candidates off the ballot and redistributed as the vote their second and third choices so when people when people voted for those independent candidates some of the March second and third choices they re distributed those counted them as and vote for either Bruce Pollock when there was the incumbent congressman or his democratic challenger Jerry gold and only when they re distributed those second third choices did your golden end up on top with fifty point five percent of the vote to Bruce Poliquin forty nine point five percent of the vote but but here's an important catch to that P. B. in order to say that the Democrat won with the majority they had to drop out or dispense with eight thousand three hundred ballots because some of those people who voted for the independent cast Bective second third choices either golden or Pollock went and so while they said that Jr golden got fifty point five percent of the vote if you counted those eight thousand three hundred voters who show up on election day and cast ballots he actually won with forty nine point five percent of the vote and yet the state said that was a majority what they really do he was manufacturing an absolute majority and they were manipulating a plurality so Lee here here's one of things that I learned from the bush gore election of two thousand and we all remember that guy looking up at the ballot and trying to figure out who voted for wide and they did all those recounts whatever what's that told me is that people can be stupid and you know in Florida there were people voted that Pat Buchanan got votes that people wanted to go to other people but the way the ballot was designed people got confused people often aren't paying attention they're carrying on conversations they're not they're circling things when they're told to put an axe in they're checking things when they're told to fill in a circle people aren't good at this sort of stuff why would we make it more complicated my would we ask more of people you know governor of California governor Jerry Brown had experience with right choice loading from his home city of Oakland California and the current governor of California Gavin Newsom also a Democrat who have experience in San Francisco politics which also use one choice voting both both democratic governors from blue states both have experience wearing choice voting and both vetoed ranked choice voting after their legislatures adopted it and both of them in their veto messages said it is confusing and it confuses voters voting should be more simple and ballots should be clear and so that's a pretty good check in your right voting is a complicated undertaking as it is these going choice or instant runoff voting ballots are very confusing ballots and there is some political science literature that indicates older voters have trouble interfacing with these ballots and minority communities have a higher rate of of ballots that are discarded because they're overloaded or under voted or what they call exhausted people don't vote all the way down the line and they get thrown out of the electorate so this is a complicated voting system and impose a lot of pressure on the voter while he or she is in the lower but I'm out of time now leave but I like I said I think is going to be on the ballot Massachusetts next year I'm gonna need to talk to you again and not twenty twenty my friend happy to do so leave me thank you for having me I appreciate the conversation that's Lee good many was former chairman of the Federal Election Commission from twenty thirteen to twenty eighteen I just want to plant the seed in rank voting by the way John you're a big fan of ranked voting did he just what you want anyway there no absolutely not I mean so first of all he insulted voters on his way to opposing this idea he said they're going to be too stupid to read the ballot come on its number one hold on for a lot for the no one died didn't I'd known lecture but I insulted voters because voters are stupid well I am he back to back you up on that point they are you are you disputing that no I'm not disputing that but it's also can him hinge an argument on everyone's too dumb to every time you do a recount you find out that people people write the word yes in a circle what but yes is yeah you're not able to do it a certain way and there is always a number of people that don't get that right or what about a blank ballot I don't want to vote for anybody that gets tossed out etcetera etcetera so yeah I mean logically it only makes sense to discard the people who don't follow the I think very simple directions but I mean the other thing that I don't think you've really touched on was third party proponents like myself we love this idea every choice voting because it takes away this axiom that people are throwing away their votes if they vote for us they can have a pressure valve where they can put a Democrat or Republican second or third and if you like okay I don't think my kid it's gonna win but at least I can pick between the top two this is a proceeding now for people to come to us and vote for us so that's kinda it's a person reason to like it but that's why I like it that's why I don't like it after these ultimately you get I don't it's a Clinton or trees why I've told you all and I don't want Jules finding debate well I don't want it these are the two or do you want people want to be able to do the old it wasn't my guy I didn't vote form but that's the buying my twenty sixteen bell would be number one Gerry Johnson and nobody else I wouldn't put anybody second or third that's how I would so in rank choice you would've been tossed after the first battle but my first vote for Gary Johnson would count and that's what I want look we'll talk more about this as twenty twenty gets going because this is going to get more and more into the lexicon and I do think Massachusetts out if it's gonna be statewide or if it's going to be what was I doing Brookline's not gonna do ranked choice voting before two one they just banned gas and oil for god sakes like I assume in a in homes I assume this is coming to localities near us real soon and we've seen mixed results on it it's something we're gonna keep an eye on for sure six one seven two six six sixty eight sixty eight Scott Whitley and food when we come back right here in our care here's.

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