Progress at the Ballot Box: Why Progressives Should Back Ranked Choice Voting

Progress at the Ballot Box: Why Progressives Should Back Ranked Choice Voting

Session Type(s): Panel

Starts: Friday, Jul. 14 2:45 PM (Central)

Ends: Friday, Jul. 14 3:45 PM (Central)

Room: Salon A-3

Ranked Choice Voting has exploded in popularity over the last few years, with over 62 US jurisdictions currently using it and likely many more in coming years. This panel brings together local, national and international political and advocacy voices to explore why it’s time for the progressive movement to throw themselves firmly behind this reform. We’ll explore how Ranked Choice Voting helps women and minorities get elected, increases the power of advocacy organizations, encourages forward thinking policy, depolarizes politics and encourages coalition building, breaks the power of corporate lobbyists and authoritarian candidates, and encourages voter turnout by giving voters a real choice at the ballot box.


Gary Schotz

Gary is an advertising freelance professional and as a long-time Illinoisan and Cook County resident, acutely aware of the need for political reform. When not working professionally or for FairVote, Gary enjoys playing guitar, softball and ice hockey as well as going to see live sports and concerts. He is grossly outnumbered at home by his wife and four daughters.


Rachel Hutchinson

As a Senior Policy Analyst at FairVote, Rachel conducts research and analysis about ranked choice voting and proportional representation. Previously a Fellow at the Institute for Political Innovation, she is an experienced researcher, writer, and policy expert in the electoral reform space. Rachel uses theory and scholarship to bolster democracy reforms and accelerate campaigns.

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Matt Martin

Matt Martin

Matt Martin is serving his second term as alderman of Chicago’s 47th Ward. He lives in Lincoln Square with his wife Katelyn, eight-year-old son Isaac, and three-year-old daughter Ameena. Prior to being elected alderman, Matt worked as a civil rights lawyer at the Illinois Attorney General’s Office, where he focused on important issues including police reform, immigration, healthcare, and worker’s rights.

Matt earned bachelor’s degrees in Jazz Studies and Political Science from Northwestern University, and his juris doctorate from Harvard Law School.

As alderman, he believes it is critical to be independent, transparent, and willing to take on big challenges like maintaining and expanding affordability, fully funding our public schools, and addressing community violence.

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