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| Daily Courier |

Millions of viewers tuning into the Academy Awards will get a crash course on how to run better elections. That’s because the Oscars have used ranked choice voting (RCV) — frequently called the “preferential ballot” by the Academy and its members — to pick the Best Picture winner since 2009 and for nominees in most categories since the 1930s.

Better than single-choice, first-past-the-post

Of course, the better Oscars voting process doesn’t guarantee everyone is happy with the outcome; that’s not how democracy works. “Barbie” fans may be upset if “Oppenheimer” takes home Best Picture on Sunday, and vice versa.

But when it comes to representing the will of its voters, ranked choice voting is far better than the single-choice, first-past-the-post voting system most Americans are used to. Right now, only one in 10 Americans give high ratings to how well our democracy represents our interests. Our elections routinely elect politicians who only appeal to a small minority of voters, causing historic levels of gridlock and dysfunction. So when you turn on the Oscars on Sunday, look past the red carpet and the acceptance speeches — and think about improving our elections with ranked-choice voting.

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