Illinois looking into “ranked choice voting” in the next presidential primaries

The committee chair, State Rep. Maurice West (D-Rockford), is sponsoring a bill for ranked choice voting in the 2024 Illinois presidential primary. (Dave Dahl)

By Dave Dahl

SPRINGFIELD – Illinois might go for “ranked choice voting” in the next presidential primaries – in which you can name follow-up choices if your favorite candidate drops out. 

The Illinois House Ethics and Elections Committee brought in Fair Vote’s Terrance Carroll, who says this promotes issues, as candidates “tend to be more positive and tend to focus more on issues, because they know they want someone else to mark them as their second or third choice. It also helps promote more viable candidates, so it tends to mitigate against the most extreme candidates in both parties.”

Carroll is a former speaker of the house in Colorado.

“It prioritizes and expands voter choice. It puts voters first and improves the voting experience for all,” said Amber McReynolds, an elections expert who heads a vote-at-home organization. “It also addresses the large field of candidates with dropouts prior to Election Day.”

An opponent’s argument was 180 degrees from McReynolds and Carroll’s.

“Ranked choice voting is a scheme to disconnect elections from issues and allows candidates with marginal support to win,” said Andy Bakker of the Illinois Opportunity Project.

The committee chair, State Rep. Maurice West (D-Rockford), is sponsoring a bill for ranked choice voting in the 2024 Illinois presidential primary but said after the hearing he wants to learn more about it before deciding how hard to push it.

Dave Dahl can be reached at [email protected].


Labor Day – Expanding voting rights for all

By Mike Matejka Because of COVID, there is no Labor Day Parade this year.  It’s always a great event for our everyday workers to march proudly down the street and enjoys the festive crowd. If there had been a parade, this year’s Labor Day theme was to be “150 years of struggle: your right to vote.” …

Is federal mobilization the answer?

By Mike Matejka As President Donald Trump threatens to send federal marshals into Chicago, over the objections of Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker, recall another Illinois Governor who protested the incursion of armed federal personnel into the city.   Those federal troops, rather than calming, escalated the situation, leading to deaths and violence. Illinois poet Vachel Lindsay…

In these troubled times, to my fellow white Americans

By Mike Matejka Our nation is at a unique watershed in human relations. African-Americans have been killed too many times in the past before George Floyd, but the response to this man’s death is international and all-encompassing. I was a grade-schooler during the Civil Rights 1960s. I watched Birmingham demonstrators hosed and the Selma – Montgomery…

Workers’ Memorial Day – Remember those whose job took their life

Looking around our community, when we say employer, most will respond to State Farm, Country, or Illinois State University.   We too often forget those who are building our roads, serving our food, or our public employees. COVID-19 has made us more aware of the risk.  Going to work every day for some people means…