In response to that story, I was contacted by Dale Shelton. Shelton is a proponent of range voting and he introduced me to that concept. In range voting, each candidate is ranked numerically, for instance 1-9, and then the candidate with the highest overall score wins.
RCV is supposed to solve the problem of the "spoiler". By this I mean the Nader example in Florida in 2000. In that case, almost all of the people that voted for Nader would have voted for Gore. In so doing they took votes away from Gore and Bush won. Had Florida had RCV, all Nader voters would have chosen Gore and he would have gotten those votes in the second ballot.
Shelton says that while that is fine, the spoiler system still applies once you get three or more strong candidates. Now, you get all sorts of potential combinations that could lead to a spoiler. Shelton explains it with a detailed example in this post.
Shelton also points to Arrow's Impossible Theorem as further evidence that range voting is best.
In social choice theory, Arrow’s impossibility theorem, or Arrow’s paradox, demonstrates that no voting system can convert the ranked preferences of individuals into a community-wide ranking while also meeting a certain set of reasonable criteria with three or more discrete options to choose from. These criteria are called unrestricted domain, non-imposition, non-dictatorship, Pareto efficiency, and independence of irrelevant alternatives. The theorem is often cited in discussions of election theory as it is further interpreted by the Gibbard–Satterthwaite
Arrow's impossible theorem won it's purveyor, Kenneth Arrow, a nobel peace prize. Arrow believed that there is no perfect voting system in which candidates are ranked, like in RCV. It's important to note that range voting doesn't rank anyone. You can vote for all equally, differently, or in any combination. The key, in Shelton's view, is that in range voting everyone's ranked separately from everyone else.
In this, the dynamic of the election would change entirely. We've all heard that a candidate has voters energized. We'd expect that this candidate would get the maximum score from said voters. On the other hand, other candidates have a more lukewarm electorate. In such a case, that candidate would get more marginal scores from said voters. The way that candidates approach the base, the middle and the opposition would change entirely. In our current voting system, you either get someone's vote or you don't. In range voting, you are always trying to woo voters because most people aren't overwhelmingly impressed with any candidate from the beginning.
Currently, no elections have range voting though Shelton is working on changing that. He says that range voting was used for years in the world's oldest democracy of Venice and in Sparta. Finally, Dr. Warren Smith, of Temple University, published a study of the benefits of range voting.