For many years now, I’ve been convinced that approval voting is the very best voting system for both single winner and multiple winner elections. It is also a very simple system to explain and implement. I believe that adopting approval voting throughout the United States would improve our democracy, empower parts of the electorate who are now marginalized, reduce political polarization, encourage compromise, reduce uncivil campaign rhetoric, and result in a more stable and civil society.
Unfortunately, convincing legislators who were elected under the present voting system to change that system is almost impossible. To remain in office, they would have to completely change their campaign strategy and eliminate the negative political rhetoric that has worked for them for many years. In addition, because approval voting tends to elect consensus candidates rather than those who are politically polarized, in our current, highly polarized environment, legislators are almost certain to oppose it.
If we want to get approval voting enacted, current elected legislators must be completely bypassed. Approval voting should be taken directly to the people as a statewide ballot initiative. With a proper educational campaign to inform the voters about approval voting, I believe they would see its many advantages, and would enact it, despite the opposition of the incumbent legislators.