Earlier this week an independent candidate for our open Senate seat, Everett Stern, showed more integrity than any of the Senate or Gubernatorial candidates from the major parties have shown this election cycle.

Everett Stern was running as an independent candidate & was doing remarkably well without the backing of a political party. He was polling around 3%. But that was a problem. With the race so tight, Mr. Stern feared he would become a spoiler & risk someone he believes is a threat to democracy being elected to the United States Senate. As a resolute defender of democracy, he would not allow that to happen. He dropped out of the race & endorsed John Fetterman. CBS

This could have been avoided if Pennsylvania adopted Ranked Choice Voting, also known as Instant Runoff Voting. Under this system, a voter ranks the candidates by their preferences. If a candidate wins a majority of first-preference votes, he or she is declared the winner. If no candidate wins a majority of first-preference votes, the candidate with the fewest first-preference votes is eliminated. First-preference votes cast for the failed candidate are eliminated, lifting the second-preference choices indicated on those ballots. A new tally is conducted to determine whether any candidate has won a majority of the adjusted votes. The process is repeated until a candidate wins an outright majority. Ballotpedia

With Ranked Choice Voting, Everett Stern would not have to fear taking votes away from anybody. He could even endorse another candidate to be his voters' second choice with this voting system. Unfortunately, the one we have doesn’t allow for those types of endorsements & all Pennsylvanians are now deprived from a having the choice of a man of integrity like Everett Stern to represent us in the United States Senate.

We at the Pennsylvania Forward Party wish Mr. Stern well. Hopefully our Commonwealth will have Ranked Choice Voting the next time Mr. Stern or any other independent candidate runs.

Benjamin Valimont


I am an advocate for democracy & making our government work for us.