Our voting system is terrible, and we can do better. In my last letter to the editor (published June 9), I explained some of the advantages and disadvantages of Ranked Choice Voting, a popular alternative to the current method. Today I present: Score Voting (SV, and also known as Range Voting).
How it works: Each voter scores each candidate (0-5 for example). Each candidate's scores are summed, and the highest scoring candidate wins. This is analogous to olympic athletes being judged on their performance; the athletes being the candidates, and the judges being every one of us voters. SV is better than Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) and Plurality due to voters being able to better express a preference for the candidates. A greater degree of preference is recorded using SV than RCV, because if rank Candidate A first, and Candidate B second, how much or little you like Candidate B is not known, only that you prefer B to A. Also unlike RCV, all of the scores on a voter's ballot are counted, not just the highest. Which means that you can simultaneously support your preferred mainstream candidate (D/R) as well as an independent candidate. Spoilers are not an issue under SV, because the scores are independent of each other.
Why change from Plurality? Unless you are 100% satisfied with the selection of candidates, then you stand to gain from a system in which more than just two candidates are truly viable. I know plenty of people who lean left, but are displeased with the democratic politicians, and others who lean right, and are displeased with the republican politicians. But because only those two are viable during the election, we are trapped into picking the lesser of two evils, or effectively wasting our vote. There are many other voting methods in existence. I prefer Score Voting as the best alternative to the current system because it is efficient and fair, without becoming complicated. I encourage everyone to look into different voting methods to learn more.