But ranked-choice voting is a failure on its own terms. Instead of allowing smaller parties to garner more support, it encourages voters to still funnel their votes to one of the major parties. In Maine, for example, a Green Party voter is encouraged to throw a backup vote to Sara Gideon, the Democratic challenger to Susan Collins. Since the Green Party will never win a notable statewide election, all ranked-choice voting accomplishes in this scenario is another vote in the bucket for Democrats in a crucial Senate race.

While support for ranked-choice voting is more prevalent among Democrats, the same would apply for Republicans looking to bleed votes from the Libertarian or Constitution Party without being their primary option. The two major parties should be trying to win over voters, not get rewarded for being their second (or third) option.

More importantly, ranked-choice voting violates the principle of “one person, one vote” and punishes voters who support a candidate rather than oppose one. To use the Maine example again, a Collins supporter would be using his or her vote for Collins. Someone who simply wants Collins defeated could end up using his or her vote for Green candidate Lisa Savage and then for Gideon.