NH State House Examines New Voting System Proposals

Are New Hampshire’s representatives finally taking a closer look at alternative voting systems? For years, the state elections committee in the state house has rejected any proposed changes to NH’s voting system, regardless of how much sense they have made. However, now that Maine has adopted “ranked choice” voting, perhaps NH’s reps are taking the issue more seriously.

I was surprised recently to receive a call from Keene Sentinel reporter Jake Lahut asking me for my opinion on ranked choice voting for an article that appeared last week. As someone who has been a longtime libertarian, I’ve seen how the “vote for one” system we have in place hurts third parties, so I definitely support ranked choice and its competitor, the easier “approval voting”.

Both systems solve the “wasted vote syndrome” where voters, afraid of the worst of the two evils winning, will vote for the “lesser evil” of the two major party candidates. They will do this even though they may better agree with a third party candidate, like a Green or Libertarian, simply out of fear of their least favorite major party candidate winning.

Ranked choice allows the voter to rank their favorites on the ballot while approval voting allows the voter to simply vote for all those candidates they’d be alright with winning the election.

Last week in the state house, HB 505 was heard that would allow for approval voting to take hold in New Hampshire’s elections. Here’s the bill’s full hearing in front of the house elections committee:

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  1. Most third party candidates have unrealistic agendas. Libertarians are some of the most unrealistic people in politics. Libertarians = Disneyland fantasies. That is why they want third party recognition. They think it will matter.

  2. Red-headed stepchildren… Disneyland fantasies….Boy Jacks, you’ve just been all over the place with the hackneyed clichés these last few days, haven’t you?

  3. Great to see voting reform on center stage. I hope that NH strongly considers STAR Voting as well, which has gained significant traction out west. STAR Voting uses a 5 star ballot and a single instant runoff. This reform has been shown by studies from the Center for Election Science to be more accurate than either RCV, Approval or other proposals.

    Like Approval Voting, it solves the spoiler effect and is tabulated using basic addition. Like IRV it allows voters to express their preferences, which allows for a more accurate reflection of the will of the people.

  4. if speaking up doesn’t matter jj, why do you talk on here?

  5. JJ: Libertarians are under not deluded in regards to what they / we think is achievable, but what we want is far more than what is realistically achievable pretty much anywhere. However that is the entire reason the Free State Project exists and why libertarians have actually aggrieved a lot despite being a tiny player in a big pond.

  6. Say Jacks. did you know that to date 45 FSP participants have been elected as state representatives in NH? For realsies pookums! So, just how much does this fact tear you up inside when you think about it on your living room recliner? You know – from 1 to 10?

    Oh, and sweetums? Since you’ve brought it up, I took it upon myself to find a few more examples of this hypocrisy thing you keep bringing up. I sure hope you enjoy it!





  7. theresth black guy at the state House!

  8. This is pretty simple. I don’t know why the reps are having such a tough time understanding it.

  9. Maybe the debt will be paid off by illegal immigrants, technology, a zero percent tax rate, or magic fairy dust, but the reality is that the US debt is increasing constantly, no one cares, and spending more money to reduce the debt will only lead to disaster.

    Debt didn’t work out too well for Rome, Germany, Japan, Greece, or Zimbabwe.

    Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

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