St. Louis follows Fargo’s lead with using approval voting
The city of St. Louis is inspired by Fargo's trailblazing method allowing approval voting where voters choose as many candidates as they'd like
FARGO, N.D. (KVRR) – Voting for multiple candidates in elections could be the norm sooner than later as more cities look to approval voting for a more effective way to cast votes.
“With the people in St. Louis and the people in Fargo, they’re starting to go through this process where they’re saying like, ‘Hey this is really exciting.’ We don’t have to use this old method that doesn’t do a good job in it’s core duty like winner selection, identifying who should represent us and then also just being able to measure all of the support with candidates,” Co-founder and Executive Director of the Center of Election Sciences Aaron Hamlin said.
Hamlin says eliminating the usual plurality voting makes more sense for the future where it would hamper the two party system most of the country is used to.
“Folks around the country are really stuck with this terrible voting method where it’s not expressive. They’re choosing only one candidate. All the candidates get an artificially low amount of support. You may wind up with the wrong winner. So, in many cases, the folks of Fargo are really leading the way and I’m really excited for them,” Hamlin says.
Hamlin adds this method could get more people excited to vote and get more candidates to add their names on the ballot without feeling like they’re wasting time running as a third party.
“The whole purpose of having a government is to have an entity that’s aligned with our interests. If that entity isn’t aligned with our interests then there’s a disconnect. There’s a barrier going on. If we have a tool that makes that more likely then maybe we shouldn’t be using that tool. So, the whole idea here is to make sure that the governing body that has all this responsibility is actually aligned with our interests,” said Hamlin.
Hamlin says results should be shown as the number of votes a candidate received over the total number of ballots cast. That approach lets voters know what percentage of voters approved each candidate.