No disrespect intended to my neighbor Gordon Weil, but I believe he’s got it wrong in his Another View guest editorial (May 27, Page D2) and his online commentary (May 30).

The U.S. Supreme Court’s four historic decisions establishing and cementing the “one person, one vote” doctrine were all about drawing voting districts so that they contained the same number of constituents – that is, each voter’s represented voice in the elected board, council, legislature or Congress is proportionally the same. Those decisions were silent about whether an instant-runoff voting system like Maine’s ranked-choice voting law, or indeed any runoff election system, fails to satisfy the “one person, one vote” doctrine.

On the other hand, at least two state courts (Michigan Circuit Court, Stephenson v. Ann Arbor Board of Canvassers, 1975; Supreme Court of Minnesota, Minnesota Voters Alliance et al. v. the City of Minneapolis, et al., 2009) have decided that an RCV-like instant-runoff voting system does not violate “one person, one vote” any more than does a conventional runoff system, in which the voters come back to the polls later for the second round of voting.

Arkansas, Alabama, Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi and South Carolina have conventional runoff elections in which RCV-style ballots are given to overseas absentee voters so their runoff votes count. Some cities in California, Colorado, Minnesota, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts and New Mexico use ranked-choice in local elections. There’s been ample time for court challenges to ranked-choice at the state and federal levels.

I ask Mr. Weil: Can he cite any court case, at any level, to substantiate his claim that ranked-choice voting violates the U.S. Supreme Court’s “one person, one vote” doctrine?

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