Is ranked-choice voting transforming our politics?

Of course, there are a few historical examples of atypical electoral results thanks to RCV. Burlington, Vermont voters were so unhappy after an unpopular incumbent mayor won re-election in 2009 with only 29 percent of the first-place votes that they repealed the entire RCV system in 2010. And in a recent column, former San Francisco mayor Willie Brown was still grousing about a crowded 2010 city legislative race in which the eventual winner only won 12 percent of the first-place votes.

These fluky outcomes might make you sour on RCV. But you can get fluky outcomes in any voting system – like, say, the Electoral College. The point is that democracy remains intact. The whole premise of American democracy is to guard against a tyranny of the majority, and spread power diffusely so all political factions have some power and get some say. The occasional fluke election does not undermine our Founders’ vision.