Let's say there were five candidates for governor: a Democrat, a Republican, a Green, a well-financed independent, and a poverty-stricken non-party hopeful with radical plans for improving government. You, being weary of the non-solutions offered by the major parties, fill out your ranked-choice ballot (which requires an advanced degree in mechanical engineering to understand) thusly:
Your first choice is the under-funded independent. This is the great thing about ranked-choice. It allows you to support a candidate with no chance of winning without wasting your vote.
Your second choice is the Green, because you like the outsider's perspective. Again, you get to vote your conscience without worrying about being shut out of the final decision.
Your third selection is the rich independent. You have your doubts, but you figure you've got to vote for somebody who's a viable candidate.
You don't vote for the Republican or Democrat.
After several days of state workers uploading ballots to a computer system capable of sorting them out and hand-counting the ballots on which there are ambiguities, the results are announced: One of the major-party contenders prevailed. But because you didn't choose either of them, your vote isn't figured in those totals. For all intents, you might as well have stayed home on election day.
Home? Isn't that where Mencken said reform belonged?
Form your comments. Then, re-form them. Only after that should you email them to me at email@example.com.
: Talking Politics
, Politics, Thomas Brackett Reed, reform