Two Years Later
Welcome to another edition of the Rank The Vote KY year-in-review. Almost another year has passed since our last review of whats been going on at RTVKY Headquarters. With RCV Day today on 1/23 🤓 we thought it would be a good time to share with y’all: what have we been doing in the past year??
Kentucky’s First Official Ranked Choice Vote
The city of Midway was the site of the first official Ranked Choice Vote in Kentucky history. Midwegian Ira Langdon led the Midway Flag Committee, established by the Midway City Council, in their work choosing a new city flag. Ranked Choice Voting was used to guarantee a majority winner from the 139 total flag submissions. Four finalists were included in a Ranked Choice Ballot sent to Midway residents.
Rank The Vote Kentucky consulted with Ira and the Midway Flag Committee on RCV Ballot Design, best practices for reporting results and counting ballots. Ultimately, 255 ballots were returned and counted to select Tom McCoy’s winning design.
Followup: Polling Midwegians about RCV
Rank The Vote KY is now working with Ira & the Flag Committee to poll Midwegians about their experience with Ranked Choice Voting. Why is this important?
Let’s use a real life example. I was with RTVKY Director Ken Carpenter in Frankfort during last year’s legislative session to talk to elected officials about RCV. We were interested in hearing directly from them what they thought about the prospects for RCV in Kentucky. A common objection to RCV, one we heard directly from KY Secretary of State Michael Adams, goes like this: “Well, RCV is confusing and voters wouldn’t understand it, especially in this state.”
Personally, I have a little more confidence in KY voters. I think they would find RCV easy to understand like the overwhelming majority of voters in places like Utah, Maine & Alaska where RCV is already being used.
Regardless of what I think, we will know for sure soon! Postcards are being printed now. 1400+ will be sent to all Midwegians asking them to participate in a survey about their Ranked Choice Voting experience. Once we get enough responses and can crunch the numbers we’ll share everything we’ve learned.
From our time canvassing we’ve learned that eight out of ten people haven’t heard of Ranked Choice Voting. But after just our 2 minute pitch nine out of ten support it. So we tried to get out in front of as many people as possible to preach the good word of RCV.
One of our proudest accomplishments was getting out to Hopkinsville, KY in November. We gave 4 talks over 2 days to the Hopkinsville League of Women Voters, the Hopkinsville Community College History Club & to the AP History classes at University Heights Academy.
What To Expect From RTVKY In 2023
Like I wrote in our one year review: this ain’t easy. It takes a focused effort to carve out space in people’s attention. Just keeping a presence on social media to get some eyeballs takes a surprising amount of time (shoutout to day one volunteer and team lead Elizabeth Hawks for her tireless work in that area). But it is work that we believe in.
There is opportunity for Rank The Vote Kentucky in 2023 to provide a tangible solution to Kentuckians who are frustrated. We have an opportunity to bring together the people who feel that they no longer have a seat at the table when decisions are being made. Through our work we can show them that RCV is a path forward.
And we have a real life example here in Kentucky — the Republican primary for Governor. With 12 candidates at one point, someone could win with just over 8% of the vote. We’ll likely see a winner with around 30% of the vote. You better believe that the 70% who did not vote for the winner are going to be wondering what could be done to fix the problem of non-majority winners! RTVKY must position itself to be able to share the RCV solution with those frustrated with plurality voting.
We can do that with outreach to people, groups & elected officials across Kentucky. Outreach to people on both sides of the aisle, maybe people who have walked out of the damn aisle. We can do that by listening to those that are frustrated and providing them a path forward.
We Need You
But we can’t do that without you and your support. Join us.
Do you know a group in your community who is interested in hearing more about RCV? Are you someone who wants to know more about RCV? Want to get into the nitty gritty about how we plan on making this happen in KY? Reach out at [email protected]. Just being interested and asking questions gives us the energy to continue! Let’s talk! I mean it!
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