Warnock-Walker race would have been decided in one higher-turnout election
Ad campaign asks voters to “imagine the holidays without runoff attack ads”
HOLLY SPRINGS, GA, UNITED STATES, November 18, 2022 /EINPresswire.com/ — As Georgians prepare to spend the Thanksgiving holiday bombarded by attack ads for the December 6 U.S. Senate runoff, Better Ballot Georgia launched a digital ad campaign (betterballotgeorgia.org) promoting instant runoff voting as a faster, cheaper, and better alternative. Instant runoff voting – also known as ranked choice voting – is already used by Georgia’s military and overseas voters and would result in a majority winner without requiring voters to go back to the polls a second time.
The Better Ballot Georgia ad (betterballotgeorgia.org) will run from 11/18/2022 to 12/18/2022.
“For the second election cycle in a row, Georgians are bombarded by hundreds of millions of dollars in spending on a nasty Senate runoff campaign,” said Daniel Baggerman of Better Ballot Georgia, a nonprofit organization advocating for instant runoff voting. “We turn on the TV to watch football, and instead we see attack ads. We open the mailbox for Christmas cards, and instead we get toxic mailers. It’s not just the weeks of negativity – runoff elections are a lose-lose. They cost taxpayers tens of millions of dollars, and result in dramatically lower turnout. Enough is enough – instant runoff voting is a faster, cheaper, and better way to run our elections.”
A recent study from Kennesaw State University research found that Georgia’s 2020 U.S. Senate runoffs cost the state $75 million, not including the hundreds of millions spent on the runoff campaigns. Additionally, voter turnout in the 2020 U.S. Senate runoffs decreased 10% – even with control of the U.S. Senate on the line. Voter turnout has fallen from Election Day to the runoff in every single Georgia runoff over the last 30 years, by an average of over 40%. These additional costs and turnout declines also occur in Georgia’s primary runoffs.
Instant runoff voting (IRV) can replace two-round runoffs with a single election. Voters rank their choice of candidates in order of preference: 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and so on. If no candidate wins a majority of voters’ 1st-choices, the lowest vote-getter is dropped from counting. Voters who ranked that candidate 1st have their ballot count for their next choice. This happens until a majority winner is identified.
Military and overseas voters in Georgia – and Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and South Carolina – already use instant runoff voting. Rather than vote a second time, these voters return a ranked ballot; in case of a runoff, their vote is counted for their highest-ranked candidate in the runoff.
The ad campaign features a Georgia family watching a movie after the Thanksgiving holiday, unable to enjoy their evening because of the constant attack ads against both Herschel Walker and Raphael Warnock. “Imagine being able to enjoy the holidays without being bombarded by negativity,” the narrator says. “Instant runoff voting would end the attack ads… and leave the negativity out of the holiday.”
About Better Ballot Georgia:
Better Ballot Georgia, Inc (BBGa) is a volunteer led, 501c3 non-profit organization promoting “common sense solutions for a healthy democracy.” BBGa believes that the first step to elections that benefit all citizens is instant runoff voting, also called ranked choice voting. BBGa celebrates its 1-year anniversary this November. Visit https://www.betterballotgeorgia.org/ for more information.
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