I applaud the recent efforts of Bowdoin Student Government (BSG) to further examine the benefits of ranked choice voting over a traditional plurality electoral system. This is an important step towards making our elections more representative of the student body.
However, as acknowledged in last week’s BSG minutes, there are numerous challenges with implementing ranked choice voting via our current electronic voting system. These include ensuring vote security, randomizing the candidate order on the ballot and purchasing costs associated with third party vote tallying software.
To solve these issues, I encourage BSG to reconsider the use of electronic voting and instead utilize paper ballots for all future BSG elections. When it comes to election security and transparency, paper ballots are the gold standard. Adopting paper ballots increases election security, allows for candidate randomization and prepares students to vote outside of Bowdoin where in many states paper ballots are the norm. As a college focused on educating the leaders of tomorrow, let us lead on effective election reform by complementing ranked choice voting with paper ballots for all BSG elections.
Alexander Banbury, Class of 2020