Let’s try something different with our elections: ranked choice voting

Ranked choice voting would mean more positive, informative campaigning and winners would have the support of more voters.

SHARE Let’s try something different with our elections: ranked choice voting
An early voter drops their Feb. 28 municipal election mail-in ballot in the secured drop box at the Lincoln Park Branch Library.

An early voter drops their Feb. 28 municipal election mail-in ballot in the secured drop box at the Lincoln Park Branch Library.

Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

The mayoral candidates now attacking one another likely know, deep down, that after the votes are counted we must work together if we are to flourish as a city, state and country. But how much better it would be if elections didn’t add to our divides.

Let’s try ranked choice voting next election. With ranked choice, we could select not just one candidate, but also state our second, third and so on choices. No one could win without some support from a majority of Chicagoans.

In 2019, the top two mayoral candidates moved to the runoff, yet more than 70% of the voters had supported someone else. Eliminating the need for a runoff election would save the city millions. And voters wouldn’t be thinking, “How do I prevent my least favorite from getting in the runoff?”

SEND LETTERS TO: letters@suntimes.com. We want to hear from our readers. To be considered for publication, letters must include your full name, your neighborhood or hometown and a phone number for verification purposes. Letters should be a maximum of approximately 350 words.

Best for voters and for Chicago, there would be more positive, informative campaigning. Candidates would have to appeal to all Chicagoans. Attacking other candidates might antagonize the supporters a candidate needs in order to be voters’ second or third choice, if not their first choice.

Abigail Nichols, Streeterville

Voters, consider candidates’ stance on public school funding

In his recent very creative column, “Don’t divert public money to private use,” Neil Steinberg metaphorically describes private schools in Chicago, where the average school tuition is $11,000 a year, as a beautifully groomed private Sky Sidewalk looming over the cracked and dirty city sidewalk of the public schools below.

Ironically, this members-only “Sky Sidewalk” receives city school voucher money, paid for by us Chicago taxpayers. Steinberg views this to be wrong and claims this money should instead be spent on helping to make our public schools better. I wholeheartedly agree.

Hopefully, this issue will be discussed more prominently with the mayoral candidates in the next few weeks Check out their positions on this important subject and also the positions of candidates running for alderpersons in your wards.

What would they pick to help fund with our money — a cleaner city sidewalk school or an attractive privately-run Sky Sidewalk school? Your vote on this will count.

Jeanine Tobin, Galewood

Public should be willing to spend more on police training

Many thanks to Mona Charen for her recent columns calling for police reform. And these from a Reagan conservative!

Charen has pointed out the reverse relationship between the amount of police training in various countries and killings of citizens by the police. Charen also suggested one change police could make that would cost nothing: Stop escalating situations needlessly. Stop cursing at citizens.

This suggestion, though, does not diminish the need to increase police training substantially. Maybe if it sank in more how much they risk their own lives and careers by acting recklessly, police officers would be more likely to behave professionally.

Yes, this training would cost substantially more. But would it cost more than the hundreds of millions in settlements stemming from police misconduct? Would it cost more than the number of lives ruined among both the citizenry and police due to the way some police behave? What dollar value should be placed on police losing trust among the citizens?

Kevin Coughlin. Evanston

The Latest
The week of high temperatures arrives as the Chicago Park District opens all 77 public pools for the season. The city is offering six cooling centers where people who could be vulnerable to the heat can seek relief.
This year, the event was put on by Yollocalli, the museum’s youth outreach program in Little Village, and CALOR, an LGBTQ advocacy organization focused on HIV/AIDS prevention and awareness in the Latino community.
The Cubs announced Sunday that Kyle Hendricks will rejoin the rotation for Wednesday’s start against the Giants.
The boy, 15, was identified as one of the people who took a vehicle at gunpoint from a 37-year-old man on March 26 in River North.
Hundreds of Chicagoans have weighed in on what sentence Burke should receive for his corruption convictions. Now it’s my turn.