For Immediate Release
January 29, 2024
Small Businesses Oppose Effort to Ban Election Method Already Not Legal
The Wisconsin Assembly’s Committee on Campaigns and Elections will hold a public hearing on Assembly Bill 853 on Tuesday, January 30, 2024. The Bill would ban an election method called ranked choice voting which is used nationwide in over 50 cities, counties and states. Currently ranked choice voting is not allowed to be used in public elections.
Below is a statement by Daniel G. Guerra Jr., CEO of Altus and a leader of the Wisconsin Business for Democracy collaborative. Business for Democracy, a campaign of the American Sustainable Business Network, has collaboratives in nine states raising the voice of small business for the need to give voters more choice in selecting the majority consensus winners of elections by using Ranked Choice Voting.
“The sponsors of Assembly Bill 853 seek to ban an election method not currently allowed by Wisconsin law, which raises the question about the real purpose of the bill.
Supporters of the bill attempt to cite problems that other jurisdictions have had using ranked choice voting saying that it is confusing to voters, too complicated to calculate, causes extended delays in getting election results, and doesn’t deliver promised results such as increasing voter turnout, focusing candidates’ attention on issues instead of mudslinging, and reduces political polarization.
These manufactured criticisms can be easily refuted by allowing experts to testify from states where ranked choice voting is already used such as Utah and Alaska, two heavily Republican states.
But suffice it to say that ranked choice voting is not found to confuse voters in other states (and surely supporters are not saying that Wisconsin voters are not as smart as these other voters), computers can process ballots quickly thus not postponing results, and voter turnout is at least as good as traditional voting methods. Ranked choice voting does result in more civil campaigning from which a reduction in polarization is achieved. And as a benefit, candidates would need to win with a majority of the vote giving them a real mandate to govern.
We suspect that the real reason for AB 853 is to protect political parties and the ability of their powerful elite to dictate which candidates the voters will have to choose from. Real candidate choice is something political parties fear and that is why they want to ban what is already illegal.”