Letter: Salt Lake City should try ranked-choice voting

(Leah Hogsten | The Salt Lake Tribune) "It's fun...I enjoy it," said Salt Lake County elections official Diane McGee of the 8-hours a day of inspecting ballots at the Salt Lake County building, Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2018.

Salt Lake City’s upcoming mayoral election is shaping up to be to feature an impressive field of candidates.

Over the next year, candidates with impressive résumés and a range of experience will make their case to residents. This broad range of candidates with such a depth of knowledge showcases the very best of our city. Each has a different vision for the future of our home, and we shouldn’t shortchange ourselves by having only two choices in the primary.

We should ditch our August primary and let all candidates compete for votes through November – by enacting ranked-choice voting.

RCV is a clear win for the residents of the city and the candidates. Residents of the city deserve a fact-based, values-informed discussion of the future of our city that will showcase the best of our city — not the most divisive.

This year, political reformers in the Utah Legislature sponsored and enacted House Bill 35, which allows for pilot programs of RCV. It’s time for voters and elected leaders in Salt Lake City to lead the state in enacting structural reforms to strengthen our democracy. The country watches Utah, and we have the duty and opportunity to maintain our status as a nationwide leader in administering fair and empowering elections.

Turner C. Bitton, Salt Lake City

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