A Waukesha businessman who co-founded the non-partisan group Democracy Found said he thinks ranked-choice voting in Wisconsin could help restore a “functional democracy.”
Democracy Found is a Wisconsin-based initiative committed to revitalizing democracy.
Co-founder Austin Ramirez, the president and CEO of Husco International, said his group favors having a nonpartisan primary and ranked-choice voting in the general election for races for U.S. House and Senate.
“So if you put these two things together — getting rid of the party primary and having ranked-choice voting in the general — and all of a sudden you have an incentive system that rewards politicians for doing things that constituents like, not just their partisan primary constituents, but all the constituents in the district,” Ramirez said in an interview aired Sunday on “UpFront,” produced in partnership with WisPolitics.com.
“I believe if you implement these voting reforms, you could not change a single person that we send to Washington, but have very different behavior because now they will be free to do things they frankly … know they should be doing anyways,” he said.
Under the ranked-choice voting plan Democracy Found is promoting, five candidates would emerge from the primary to go on to the general election. Voters would rank their choices from first to fifth, and the bottom finisher would be eliminated. Voters who selected that candidate as their first choice would now have their second choice counted. The process repeats until one candidate reaches a majority.
The ranked-choice voting idea, also sometimes called final five voting, has the support of several Wisconsin state and federal lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.
Also on the program, a Milwaukee Brewers executive said the team will open its season at home Thursday at 25 percent fan capacity, but the ultimate goal is to get back to “full fans in the stands.”
“Our April 1 opening day will be the largest public gathering of people in the state of Wisconsin in over a year,” said the Brewers president of operations, Rick Schlesinger.
The Brewers worked with the Milwaukee Health Department, submitting a comprehensive plan for how they could host fans during the pandemic. Fans will have to wear masks except when eating or drinking, practice social distancing, make cashless payments and enter specific gates at prescribed times.
Tailgating will not be permitted.
“The goal is to do it safely, responsibly, still have fun, and then ultimately show the Health Department and show ourselves that we can increase capacity safely, and do it responsibly, and ultimately get to what our goal is, which is full fans in the stands,” Schlesinger said.
He said there is no timeline for 100 percent fan capacity, adding that will depend on metrics and the course of COVID-19. The team will continue to work with the Milwaukee Health Department, he said.
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