The official student newspaper of Oak Park and River Forest High School

The Trapeze

The official student newspaper of Oak Park and River Forest High School

The Trapeze

The official student newspaper of Oak Park and River Forest High School

The Trapeze

The cure for election blues

FairVotes+example+of+a+ranked+choice+voting+ballot.
FairVote’s example of a ranked choice voting ballot.

Do you want to go out and vote on May 5? If not, you are not alone. A lot of people are finding it hard to get excited about the presidential candidates.

The thing I find interesting is that both the front runners are really old. President Joseph Biden is 81 and former President Donald Trump is 77. While we should be prejudiced against older people, it’s fair to ask whether their advanced age has impaired their ability to make decisions. Presidents have to be sharp. In my opinion, they should be 35 up to 50.

But what other choice do we have than to vote for Trump or Biden? If we vote for an alternative candidate, we effectively throw away our votes.

That’s where ranked-choice voting comes in. Here’s how it works: it’s like picking 10 different cookies, ranking them from favorite to least to favorite. You could put Biden in the top spot, and an alternative candidate in the second or third spot, for example. You don’t have to rank all the candidates if you don’t want to. Heck, you can just do it how we do it now and pick one.

If your first candidate does not get the majority of all first votes then it moves to the second, and so on. So your vote never gets wasted like it does now.

Ranked-choice voting is gaining traction in Illinois. Evanston adopted ranked-choice voting in a 2022 ballot measure, and similar measures are under consideration in Skokie and Naperville, according to FairVote, a nonpartisan voting advocacy organization. A petition is also circulating in Oak Park to get ranked-choice voting for the Oak Park Board of Trustee elections.

I hope it passes, and that Oak Park leads the way for other municipalities across the state. In the meantime, though, make sure you vote as soon as it’s legal. Let’s make sure the youth vote makes a difference in this election.

 

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