JASON SNEAD: Virginia Is No Place For Crazy Voting Experiments

On Tuesday, ranked-choice voting (RCV) reached the suburbs of the nation’s capital.

In Arlington, Virginia, Democrats used this novel system for a county primary. Tabulation began on Friday, the earliest possible date.

With RCV, that’s the new normal. A well-funded movement is underway aiming to convince voters to fundamentally reshape elections. But Even The Washington Post called Arlington’s election experiment “vexing” and “confusing” — and noted worryingly that “not many people understand how it works.”

Spoiler: that’s the case in all RCV elections. (RELATED: DAVID BOSSIE: Ranked-Choice Voting Is Just Another Way Of Letting Elites Tilt The System In Their Favor)

RCV inherently makes voting much harder and complex. Voters are asked to rank their favorite candidates by preference from first to last.

In present elections, the person with the most votes wins. But with RCV, algorithms are used to compute winners.

If no candidate gets more than 50% of the first-place vote, the lowest-performing candidate is eliminated and votes for that candidate are redistributed based on each voter’s second place pick. That roulette wheel process continues until a candidate wins more than 50% of the remaining vote.

Confused? In Arlington, it got even worse.

When the Arlington Democratic Primary for the County Board used RCV for the first time, voters

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