If The Post wants to increase voter turnout, it shouldn’t focus on counting votes; it should focus on getting a vote that counts [“A better way to vote,” editorial, April 25]. District voters are not dumb. They understand that their votes don’t count for much. Take it from a guy who just got more than 170,000 votes in November and is relegated to writing terse commentary to the local paper.
Voters understand that it is Congress and not the people of the District that has the final say on everything.
As long as national Republicans stand in the way of our pursuit of equality, and local Republicans support them and refuse to confront them on the issue, District voters will not elect them.
Give the people of the District control of their city, make the District a state so its residents can be equal U.S. citizens and watch what happens. We need to get our priorities in order, not our candidates. We don’t need run-off votes; we need a vote that counts.
Michael D. Brown, Washington
The writer, a Democrat, represents the District of Columbia as a shadow U.S. senator.
The electoral reforms The Post proposed in its April 25 editorial have merit. But I wonder, if The Post’s preferred candidate, Patrick Mara, had won with the same number of votes that Anita Bonds received, would we be hearing about how he was “elected by a tiny minority of voters”? Of course not. We’d be told that the electorate had sent a clear message in support of his (and The Post’s) philosophy of government.
Michael G. Bell, Washington
Tuesday’s election of Anita Bonds to the D.C. Council is a perfect example of why our plurality-wins election system is the wrong way to count votes. The District often has elections with several contenders. We should adopt a system that allows voters to specify their second, third and fourth choices.
The preferences of the 40 percent of voters who chose neither Ms. Bonds nor the runner-up, Elissa Silverman, have been disregarded. But it would not have been difficult to find out which of those two these voters actually preferred — and to establish a clear majority for one candidate.
Without such a system, we get not only the wrong result from the election process but also strategic voting (“I know my candidate won’t win, so I will vote for someone I think can win over someone I like better”) and the unpleasantness of candidates asking for strategic votes.
Emily Mechner, Washington