Readers’ comments: August 18, 2023

Kudos for supporting CGU student
Dear editor:
As a member of the faculty at Claremont Graduate University, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Peter Weinberger, the Rotary Club of Claremont, and other Courier readers for the support they provided to one of our graduate students [“My Side of the Line,” August 11]. It was so kind, and so community spirited!
Also, I’d like to tell you that CGU is filled with students who are “fine human being[s] with lofty goals for a career that includes helping others.” Those attributes are actually characteristic of many of our graduate students, and are part of CGU’s identity.
Thank you all for your support for our wonderful students.
Heather E. Campbell, PhD


What about ‘negative votes’?
Dear editor:
In addition to Pamela Casey Nagler’s ranked choice voting suggestion [“City should consider ranked choice voting,” Reader’s Comments, August 11] there is another option: negative votes.
Everyone would still only get only one vote, but it could be a vote for or against. In a race where a voter doesn’t really like any of the candidates, often they cast no vote at all. However, in an election where someone can vote against whom they most dislike, studies by Gallup and RAND have shown as many as 4.4% more voters participate — a valuable improvement.
A negative vote for one candidate cancels out someone else’s positive vote for that person, thereby increasing the spread between each of the others, relative to that candidate, by one. In a race of three or more, it essentially casts an equally split positive vote for the others, which is not currently possible.
There is one small possible risk: if a candidate’s net tally goes to zero or less, further negative votes are of no additional incremental/fractional benefit to the other candidates. While this might send a strong message, excess negative votes would be wasted. The counter-benefits are that this method is binary simple, provides more options, achieves split voting and encourages more voter participation. For these reasons, a negative vote option might be worth considering.
Russ Binder

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