As the Utah legislative session gets underway, one of the largest discussions centers around alternative voting. There is a push to pass ranked-choice voting as the sole voting method in Utah after some cities and parties have used ranked-choice voting under the current pilot program. However, we should not be so quick to commit to this overhaul.

Ranked-choice voting happens to also be the only alternative method we’ve tried and because of this, it would be hard to contribute any amount of success to ranked-choice voting alone rather than alternatives in general. If we really seek to improve elections in Utah, we should try another top alternative first: approval voting.

Approval voting is a simple alternative that allows voters to choose all of the candidates they like rather than just one. It is extremely cost-effective, doesn’t require major ballot changes, and can be quickly calculated. As someone who is deeply invested in seeing Utah choose the best system possible, I strongly urge the legislature to give Utahns the chance to see how other methods work and only then choose the best one.

Nathaniel Allen