Showing posts with label instant runoff voting. Show all posts
Showing posts with label instant runoff voting. Show all posts

Friday, March 10, 2023

Invisible Primary: Visible -- Presidential Primary Runoffs?

Thoughts on the invisible primary and links to the goings on of the moment as 2024 approaches...

My former UGA colleagues, Charles Bullock and Loch Johnson, have an interesting take on the presidential nomination process up over at The Bulwark. Runoffs in Georgia are out of vogue these days after two consecutive electoral cycles with high profile Senate overtime elections, but that has not stopped Bullock and Johnson from suggesting that adding runoff elections to the presidential nomination process might help to provide some guardrails against novice and/or extremist candidates. Maybe. 

But the whole concept is premised on the idea that the Republican presidential nomination process is winner-take-all; that a candidate can win a mere plurality by just one vote and still win all of the delegates from a state. It is not. There were 19 truly winner-take-all contests in the 2020 Republican presidential nomination process, meaning that 37 other primaries, caucuses and conventions had some other form of delegate allocation rules. And sure, Bullock and Johnson discussed all of this in the context of Trump's 2016 victory, not 2020. But there were ten fewer truly winner-take-all contests then

Look, there may be something to requiring a candidate to win a majority in a primary or caucus in order to win delegates (not to mention broaden a candidate's appeal). But a separate runoff is not necessary in order to accomplish that. In fact, there are already rules on the Republican National Committee (RNC) books that do that and have been in place since the 2012 cycle. Under the rules, states can circumvent the ban on truly winner-take-all rules before March 15 by using a baseline proportional allocation method with a winner-take-all trigger. Candidates have to hit 50 percent of the vote statewide in order to activate that trigger. There were 17 such proportional states in 2020 before and after March 15.

What's more Bullock and Johnson suggest ranked choice voting (RCV) as a means of avoiding the administrative and financial strain a subsequent presidential primary runoff election may place on states. The irony, of course, is that the RCV alternative they propose is the same one that Republican state legislators across the country are considering banning during this current state legislative season. [FHQ really needs to update the 2023 RCV legislation post. But it is the ban legislation that is actually moving through legislatures rather than the bills to institute RCV.]

Republican county chairs prefer DeSantis over Trump. This piece was built on survey work that Seth Masket has been doing this cycle. Masket undertook a similar endeavor four years ago in the midst of the Democratic process. His work continues to be invaluable. 

Governor Glenn Youngkin (R-VA) doing a CNN town hall will do little to quell the presidential chatter that has quietly operated on the fringes of the Republican invisible primary for some time. That said, some donors have not viewed him as an "all-in candidate" in recent days. That is not to say that the governor cannot rev things up in the money primary at some point, but he would likely have to make that transition to "all-in" first. the very least in the eyes of the donors.

On this date... 1992, it was Super Tuesday, but a less super Super Tuesday than the Southern Super Tuesday of the 1988 cycle. Much of the southern states held together again in 1992, but Georgia moved earlier (as allowed under DNC rules that cycle) and states like Alabama, Arkansas and North Carolina moved back to consolidated dates later in the process. 2000, a western subregional primary of sorts was held. Rare Friday primaries in Colorado and Utah and Republican caucuses in Wyoming occurred on March 10. 

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Massachusetts Bill Would Add Rank Choice Voting to Presidential Primary Ballots for Military/Overseas Voters

FHQ mentioned this one before, but it was still at the draft stage when the Vermont bill was introduced (and discussed) back in February.

However, the draft bill in Massachusetts to allow instant run-off voting for military and overseas voters has now become introduced on the House side in the General Court. H 609 would allow military personnel and overseas voters to rank their preferences in a presidential nomination race in order to avoid the problem of potential wasted votes. This is a particularly acute problem in a sequential, state-by-state presidential nomination process in which the field continually winnows. Wasted votes are more prevalent in a scenario in which overseas voters make decisions without full certainty about the candidates who are actually in the field at the point on the calendar on which a state primary is due to be conducted.

New Hampshire voters, for instance, would have a full (or fuller) set of candidates to choose from in January/February than Massachusetts voters participating in a March 1 primary. But if one is overseas and voting in advance, one does not have advance knowledge of what the field will look like on March 1 after the first few contests in the carve-out states.

Again, as is the case in the Vermont situation, this is a clever way of overcoming some of the issues attendant to overseas voting in the presidential nomination process.

NOTE: There are at least four other active bills in the Massachusetts House to bring rank choice voting into elections more broadly.

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Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Vermont Bill Would Add Rank Choice Voting to Presidential Primary Ballots for Military/Overseas Voters

Legislation has been introduced in Vermont to allow military personnel and other overseas voters to utilize rank choice voting in presidential primaries.

Vermont has in-person absentee voting in the 45 days before an election, but the proposal in H 115 would allow those voters overseas and/or in the military to cast a rank choice vote in a presidential primary. The secretary of state in Vermont would prepare the ballot as usual, but military/overseas voters would rank all of the candidates based on preference instead of choosing just one from the pool of candidates. If the most preferred candidate has dropped out/withdrawn from the race by the time of the Vermont primary on March 1, then the highest choice among the remaining active candidates would receive the vote.

For example, if voter X overseas has a rank ordering on his or her ballot of George Pataki followed by Jeb Bush (then the rest), and Pataki has withdrawn, then Bush receives the vote.

This is a clever way of avoiding a wasted vote in a situation where ballots have to go out to military personnel well in advance of primary election day when the field of candidates is still in flux.

NOTE: There is also similar draft legislation in Massachusetts (HD 2394). The Bay state also has a March 1 primary.

Recent Posts:
North Carolina: 2016's Rogue State?

Utah Again Linked to Possible Western Regional Primary

SEC Primary Bill Finds Early Support in Mississippi House Committee

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