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NYAAPOR Webinar: Polling Ranked Choice Voting
linkedin.com
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LinkedIn
BingNews
Online Webinar WHAT: Panel and discussion focused on ranked-choice voting in New York and Maine. For the first time in history, NYC voters cast ballots using ranked-choice voting.
6 days
Oct 11, 2021

 
 
 
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How does ranked choice voting work?
youtube.com
Video
0:01:27
YouTube
Star Tribune
BingVideo
Residents of Minneapolis, St. Paul and several suburbs will have at least one rank choice election on their ballots this November. But how does ranked choice voting work, and what does it mean for our elections? Learn more about how ranked choices can shift candidates' vote totals: https://www.startribune.com/minneapolis-rcv-explainer-2021 ... MORE→
6 days
Oct 11, 2021

 
 
 
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Sunday's letters: Moving the homeless, Ranked Choice Voting, another COVID wave, more
msn.com
Article
6977 chars
MSN
BingNews
City can't agree on how to provide sufficient affordable housing, so instead may shove homeless residents out of sight.
Hiding the homeless not the way to go© THOMAS E. BENDER/HERALD-TRIBUNE FILE Two homeless men eat free meals given out by Streets of Paradise outside the Salvation Army, in downtown Sarasota.I was appalled to read that Sarasota is considering a “no sit, no lie” ordinance (“Sarasota to consider ‘sit lie’ ordinance,” Oct. 6).The city is happy to allow condominiums that will sell for several million dollars to be built downtown, yet it cannot agree on how to establish sufficient affordable housing options or housing for displaced citizens. They leave that problem to underfunded nonprofits.Now we are going to take a giant step to keep these people not only unhoused but out of sight. Yes, this is an “issue,” but not one that can be addressed by shoving the “issues” out of downtown.How to send a letter to the editorCommissioners, stand up and deal with the issue by addressing the needs of our homeless citizens. They have rights as well.Judith Kazen, SarasotaDemand Ranked Choice Voting nowThe Sarasota City Commission should immediately end its stalling in regard to Ranked Choice Voting. After 14 years, voters have waited long enough for their will to be enacted (“Sarasota City Commission may pause plan for advancing ranked-choice voting,” Sept. 22).In 2007, 77% of Sarasota voters in a record turnout election approved a charter amendment to implement RCV as soon as possible. An independent advocacy group of Florida citizens has offered to pay for legal counsel to find out whether it is legal or not.There is no evidence that conducting the election in one round rather than two would in any way impact minority voting turnout negatively. In fact, runoff elections statistically depress voter turnout on average in research data. And let’s not forget the long-term eventual cost savings of having a majority winner determined in one election, rather than two.I urge Sarasota voters to continue to pressure their city commissioners to immediately take action. A court ruling would not bind the city to take action; it would simply clarify legal ambiguity as to whether state law permits Ranked Choice Voting in chartered municipalities like Sarasota. The commissioners have stalled 14 years too long already on this popularly supported issue.Anthony Lorenzo, Pinellas Park, founder, Citizens for Instant Runoff VotingDeSantis ushering in worst COVID waveGov. Ron DeSantis has personally set the stage for the next COVID wave in Florida. It will be the worst wave.No masks for schoolchildren. Minimal support for vaccinations. Wide-open maskless events. Parents deciding if exposed/infected children may attend school.Open support for herd immunity by infection and possible death. Penalizing school districts that are trying to save lives. Strong-arming businesses so they will not protect employees and customers.There is no common or moral sense to it, only the immoral aspirations of a wannabe dictator. This virus cannot be "wished away" by political ambition.Bruce McGowan, VeniceHamas kills Israelis, sacrifices its ownWhen I was 9 my family moved to a Manhattan area containing few Jews. I soon heard slurs from people who didn’t know me. Learning that I was hated simply because I was a Jew was a shock.Later I attended social gatherings and would readily sense if Jews were unwelcome. I get that same sense when I read letters such as the one from the Venice writer who attacked columnist Marc Thiessen for criticizing opponents of U.S. support for Israel’s Iron Dome (“Not antisemitic to support Palestinians,” Sept. 29).The letter stated that Iron Dome money will be used for precision-guided missiles, “the same weapons it (Israel) used to kill hundreds of Palestinian women and children in Gaza last May.”Gaza is controlled by Hamas, a terrorist organization. Hamas has indiscriminately fired thousands of rockets into Israel, seeking to kill Israelis. It has deliberately placed rocket-firing sites within civilian populations, knowing that Israeli counterfire would necessarily kill civilians.Why didn’t Hamas evacuate the women and children before launching its attack? Clearly, Hamas was willing to have civilians killed so that its supporters could write letters criticizing Israel.Milton Crystal, SarasotaSheriff needs to explain stance on taxSheriff Rick Wells, wearing his angry cowboy hat, encourages a “no” vote in the Manatee tax referendum (“Manatee sheriff on upcoming school tax: ‘I ain't voting for that,’” Oct. 2). He says the school district didn’t spend enough of the tax money on teacher salaries, but offered no supporting facts.Information in the Herald-Tribune article essentially refuted the sheriff’s assertions. This is reminiscent of the adage about a politician who is “all hat and no cattle.” In this case, all hat and no facts.The well-respected sheriff has a responsibility to provide proof in a matter of such public educational importance.Paul Dain, BradentonSEND A LETTER TO THE EDITORLetters must have the writer’s name, full address and daytime phone number and should be no longer than 200 words. (Only name and city will be published.) We may condense letters and edit them for accuracy. Writers may have no more than one published letter every 30 days. We are unable to publish every letter we receive. We no longer accept letters by postal mail. Email letters to: editor.letters@heraldtribune.com.This article originally appeared on Sarasota Herald-Tribune: Sunday's letters: Moving the homeless, Ranked Choice Voting, another COVID wave, more MORE→
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Oct 10, 2021

 
 
 
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No sit, no lie ordinance an appalling way to treat homeless
heraldtribune.com
Article
6609 chars
Sarasota Herald-Tribune
Sarasota Herald-Tribune
ContextualWeb
City can't agree on how to provide sufficient affordable housing, so instead may shove homeless residents out of sight.
Hiding the homeless not the way to go I was appalled to read that Sarasota is considering a “no sit, no lie” ordinance ( “Sarasota to consider ‘sit lie’ ordinance,” Oct. 6). The city is happy to allow condominiums that will sell for several million dollars to be built downtown, yet it cannot agree on how to establish sufficient affordable housing options or housing for displaced citizens. They leave that problem to underfunded nonprofits. Now we are going to take a giant step to keep these people not only unhoused but out of sight. Yes, this is an “issue,” but not one that can be addressed by shoving the “issues” out of downtown. How to send a letter to the editor Commissioners, stand up and deal with the issue by addressing the needs of our homeless citizens. They have rights as well. Judith Kazen, Sarasota Demand Ranked Choice Voting now The Sarasota City Commission should immediately end its stalling in regard to Ranked Choice Voting. After 14 years, voters have waited long enough for their will to be enacted ( “Sarasota City Commission may pause plan for advancing ranked-choice voting,” Sept. 22). In 2007, 77% of Sarasota voters in a record turnout election approved a charter amendment to implement RCV as soon as possible. An independent advocacy group of Florida citizens has offered to pay for legal counsel to find out whether it is legal or not. There is no evidence that conducting the election in one round rather than two would in any way impact minority voting turnout negatively. In fact, runoff elections statistically depress voter turnout on average in research data. And let’s not forget the long-term eventual cost savings of having a majority winner determined in one election, rather than two. I urge Sarasota voters to continue to pressure their city commissioners to immediately take action. A court ruling would not bind the city to take action; it would simply clarify legal ambiguity as to whether state law permits Ranked Choice Voting in chartered municipalities like Sarasota. The commissioners have stalled 14 years too long already on this popularly supported issue. Anthony Lorenzo, Pinellas Park, founder, Citizens for Instant Runoff Voting DeSantis ushering in worst COVID wave Gov. Ron DeSantis has personally set the stage for the next COVID wave in Florida. It will be the worst wave. No masks for schoolchildren. Minimal support for vaccinations. Wide-open maskless events. Parents deciding if exposed/infected children may attend school. Open support for herd immunity by infection and possible death. Penalizing school districts that are trying to save lives. Strong-arming businesses so they will not protect employees and customers. There is no common or moral sense to it, only the immoral aspirations of a wannabe dictator. This virus cannot be "wished away" by political ambition. Bruce McGowan, Venice Hamas kills Israelis, sacrifices its own When I was 9 my family moved to a Manhattan area containing few Jews. I soon heard slurs from people who didn’t know me. Learning that I was hated simply because I was a Jew was a shock. Later I attended social gatherings and would readily sense if Jews were unwelcome. I get that same sense when I read letters such as the one from the Venice writer who attacked columnist Marc Thiessen for criticizing opponents of U.S. support for Israel’s Iron Dome ( “Not antisemitic to support Palestinians,” Sept. 29). The letter stated that Iron Dome money will be used for precision-guided missiles, “the same weapons it (Israel) used to kill hundreds of Palestinian women and children in Gaza last May.” Gaza is controlled by Hamas, a terrorist organization. Hamas has indiscriminately fired thousands of rockets into Israel, seeking to kill Israelis. It has deliberately placed rocket-firing sites within civilian populations, knowing that Israeli counterfire would necessarily kill civilians. Why didn’t Hamas evacuate the women and children before launching its attack? Clearly, Hamas was willing to have civilians killed so that its supporters could write letters criticizing Israel. Milton Crystal, Sarasota Sheriff needs to explain stance on tax Sheriff Rick Wells, wearing his angry cowboy hat, encourages a “no” vote in the Manatee tax referendum ( “Manatee sheriff on upcoming school tax: ‘I ain't voting for that,’” Oct. 2). He says the school district didn’t spend enough of the tax money on teacher salaries, but offered no supporting facts. Information in the Herald-Tribune article essentially refuted the sheriff’s assertions. This is reminiscent of the adage about a politician who is “all hat and no cattle.” In this case, all hat and no facts. The well-respected sheriff has a responsibility to provide proof in a matter of such public educational importance. Paul Dain, Bradenton SEND A LETTER TO THE EDITOR Letters must have the writer’s name, full address and daytime phone number and should be no longer than 200 words. (Only name and city will be published.) We may condense letters and edit them for accuracy. Writers may have no more than one published letter every 30 days. We are unable to publish every letter we receive. We no longer accept letters by postal mail. Email letters to: editor.letters@heraldtribune.com. MORE→
1 week
Oct 10, 2021

 
 
 
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Broomfield Ballot Question 2A: Ranked choice voting
dailycamera.com
Article
1339 chars
Boulder Daily Camera
Camera Staff
BingNews
What it asks: “Shall Chapter 4-06 of the Municipal Code of the City and County of Broomfield be amended to add the following section: 4-06-020 – Voting Method. The mayor and all council…
What it asks: “Shall Chapter 4-06 of the Municipal Code of the City and County of Broomfield be amended to add the following section: 4-06-020 – Voting Method. The mayor and all councilmembers will be elected using a ranked voting method, as defined in Title 31 of the Colorado Revised Statutes, beginning with the Nov. 7, 2023 municipal election and for all elections moving forward.” What it means: Should Broomfield switch to ranked-choice voting for the mayor and councilmembers, which allows voters to rank candidates on a ballot and the candidate with the fewest votes in the final round is eliminated? What supporters say: Ranked-choice voting determines the candidate with the strongest support, encourages civil campaigning, reduces wasted votes and eliminates the need for multiple elections. What opponents say: Ranked-choice voting could be complicated and will require education on how it works. A vote might not count if every candidate an individual votes for is eliminated, and it goes against the concept of “one person, one vote.” MORE→
1 week
Oct 10, 2021

 
 
 
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Technology could put limits on Arlington ranked-choice-voting efforts
insidenova.com
Article
381 chars
INSIDENOVA.COM
Scott Mccaffrey, Sun Gazette Newspapers
ContextualWeb
Say Arlington leaders decide to move to a ranked-choice voting method for County Board races. And say that six people decide to make a run for office.
Real-time social media posts from local businesses and organizations across Northern Virginia, powered by Friends2Follow. To add your business to the stream, email cfields@insidenova.com or click on the green button below. MORE→
> 1 week
Oct 9, 2021

 
 
 
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Ranked-choice voting debate rages while method spreads
startribune.com
Article
7990 chars
Star Tribune
Hunter Woodall
ContextualWeb
The method is gaining momentum around the country.
Video (01:26) : Residents of Minneapolis, St. Paul and several suburbs will have at least one rank choice election on their ballots this November. But how does ranked choice voting work, and what does it mean for our elections? New York City's first mayoral primary decided by ranked-choice voting chose a front-runner who led in every round, even after a protracted count marred by a reporting error. In Maine, Democrat Jared Golden trailed in the first round of a 2018 ranked-choice congressional contest but defeated the GOP incumbent in the next round. Now, Minneapolis' mayoral and City Council races are set to once again use the fiercely debated system. While the November election marks its fourth citywide ranked-choice election, the method is gaining momentum around the country. "This allows people to vote with their hearts and their heads," said Susan Lerner, executive director of Common Cause/New York and board chair of the pro-ranked-choice group Rank the Vote NYC. "They don't need to pick the lesser of two evils." But resistance to the system remains deep. Related How ranked choice voting works in Minneapolis "It takes away from the one person, one vote," Maine state Rep. MaryAnne Kinney said. The Republican said she believes the voting system is "extremely confusing." Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey used the system to his advantage four years ago, when the one-term City Council member soundly defeated Mayor Betsy Hodges. Now Frey is fighting for his political life as he faces 16 challengers, including several who are banding together to use intricacies of the system to try to block the embattled mayor from a second term. Ten years ago, Minneapolis was one of only 10 cities across the United States that had adopted ranked-choice voting, according to FairVote, a leading advocate of the method. That number has now risen to more than 40 cities, according to the organization, which touted on its website that New York City's contest was the "largest city-wide RCV election in American history." While voting in New York City ended June 22, it took two weeks for a winner to be called in the city's hotly contested Democratic mayoral primary. A reporting error in late June involving test ballots led to the NYC Board of Elections issuing a statement that ranked-choice voting "was not the problem, rather a human error." Related The Associated Press called the race for Eric Adams on July 6. Despite the delay and tumult, the election had the city's highest turnout for a citywide primary in more than two decades, according to the NYC Campaign Finance Board. But in the aftermath, the divide over the electoral system hasn't subsided. Lerner said ranked choice is helping reshape the city's male-dominated politics by boosting the number of women who are Democratic nominees for council seats, most being women of color. For critics, the June contest only heightened their opposition. Weeks before the primary, New York City Council Member I. Daneek Miller pushed for letting voters decide whether to continue using ranked-choice voting for city government's primary and special elections. "We have said from the very beginning that ranked-choice voting threatened to undermine the voting power of communities of color, and that successful implementation of a new voting system during a global pandemic was impossible," Miller, a Democrat and co-chair of the New York City Council's Black, Latino, and Asian Caucus, said in a statement last week. "When we finally got the cast-vote records back from the Board of Elections, the data does show an uneven education process and a clear difference between communities that most heavily utilized ranked-choice voting versus those that did not." Minneapolis residents voted overwhelmingly in 2006 to adopt ranked-choice voting, then referred to as an instant runoff election. At the time, supporters said they hoped the change would minimize the chances of a resident's vote being "wasted" and encourage more positive campaigning. Critics said they feared it would cause confusion and reduce debate by eliminating primary elections. In Maine, ranked-choice voting is used for state and federal primary elections, along with general election races for federal offices, according to the Secretary of State's Office. First used in 2018, the system came under intense scrutiny later that year when the Democratic challenger Golden toppled incumbent Republican U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin. Despite Poliquin's narrow lead in the first round of the general election results, Golden won the seat after third-party candidates were eliminated. "Ranked-choice voting improves representation because it gives voters true choices," Maine Secretary of State Shenna Bellows said. A vocal supporter of the method, Bellows said she thinks "ranked-choice voting has achieved exactly what we hoped here in our state. It's empowered voters to vote on their principles rather than party politics." While ranked choice is gaining momentum, the shift has faced setbacks. Last year, Massachusetts voters rejected a statewide ballot question on ranked-choice voting. The system has gained a foothold in other parts of Minnesota. St. Paul began using the method locally in 2011, while ranked choice was used for the first time in St. Louis Park in 2019 for City Council elections. Voters in Minnetonka and Bloomington signed off on using the voting method last year . In other pockets of the country, ranked choice is more familiar. In California, the system is used in San Francisco elections for choosing many local offices, according to the city's website , with Oakland and Berkeley also serving as early examples of the method being put in place out West. In another major upcoming test of the system, Alaska is working to implement ranked-choice voting for the 2022 general election in state and federal races. Voters narrowly approved the change last November as part of a larger ballot measure that also includes a nonpartisan open primary system. "The hope with ranked-choice voting and open primaries is that you get people who are much more focused, and much more worried, about policy issues as opposed to political problems," said Jason Grenn, executive director of the pro-ranked-choice group Alaskans for Better Elections, who served one term in the Alaska House as an independent. Asked about ranked-choice voting as he left the U.S. Senate floor one night, Alaska GOP Sen. Dan Sullivan said that he didn't support the measure, adding that "nobody understood it." "To be honest, a lot of people in Alaska are confused," Sullivan said. Staff writer Liz Navratil contributed to this report. MORE→
> 1 week
Oct 9, 2021

 
 
 
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Q&A: How ranked-choice voting works in Minneapolis
startribune.com
Article
4792 chars
Star Tribune
Liz Navratil
ContextualWeb
Follow the StarTribune for the news, photos and videos from the Twin Cities and beyond.
Voters' second- and third-choice rankings could be crucial in determining which candidates win historic Minneapolis elections in November. With a near-record 102 candidates, residents will have crowded fields to choose from as they head to the polls for the first city races since the arrival of the coronavirus pandemic and George Floyd's killing. It will be the fourth citywide election using ranked-choice voting. Q: How do I fill out my ballot? A: Each ballot will contain three columns asking voters to designate their first, second and third choices in candidates. You can choose only one candidate per column. You can't repeat candidates; for example, you can't list John Doe as both your first and second choices. You can rank one, two or three candidates. You don't have to fill them all out. David Kimball, a political-science professor at the University of Missouri-St. Louis who studies ranked-choice voting, said people have strategic options: If they really like a candidate, they could rank just that person, for instance, although they would then risk forfeiting their chance to weigh in on others if their preferred candidate doesn't top the list. Q: When will we see results? A: Races will be called at different times. A winner for Minneapolis mayor or council will be declared on election night only if the candidate receives more than 50% of first-choice votes based on the total number of ballots cast in the election. For other races, where multiple seats are open, the thresholds are different. For the Minneapolis Board of Estimate & Taxation, which has two open seats, a candidate will need more than 33% of the votes; for Park Board at-large seats, a candidate will need more than 25% of the votes. If a candidate doesn't meet the threshold, the race will proceed to ranked-choice voting, and that counting will begin the next day. City workers will count the votes in the following order: mayor, City Council (with a drawing to determine which wards get counted first), Board of Estimate & Taxation, Park & Recreation Board at-large seats, Park & Recreation Board district seats. Aaron Grossman, a Minneapolis elections supervisor overseeing ranked-choice voting, said they hope to have unofficial results for all races by day's end on Wednesday, Nov. 3. In other cities that used ranked-choice voting, thresholds and timelines could be different. Q: How does ranked-choice voting work? A: To calculate the winner in a ranked-choice voting system, it's not enough to know just how many first-, second- or third-choice votes a candidate earned. Officials need to know the unique combinations on each voter's ballot. That information — stored on voting machine memory sticks — gets processed by Hennepin County officials, who give those details to the city the morning after the election. While computer programs could tabulate winners, no system has been approved yet at the state level, so Grossman said city workers will do those calculations themselves. The city's elections team will check to see how many first-choice votes a candidate got. Then, "we go through a process called mathematical elimination where the candidates, if it's mathematically impossible for them to be elected, are eliminated," Grossman said. Then, elections workers look at ballots where people's first-choice candidates have been eliminated. They look to see who those people ranked second and add those votes to each candidate's vote counts. If a voter's first- and second-choice candidates have been eliminated, the city will look at who the voter ranked third. The process repeats until one candidate meets the threshold for winning, or until there are only two candidates left and one is ahead. Once a race proceeds to ranked-choice tabulation, the thresholds change slightly: Instead of needing to reach a certain percentage based on the total number of ballots cast in the election, candidates need to reach that threshold based only on the number of votes cast in their individual race. Q: What about the ballot questions? A: Ranked-choice voting will be used only for the candidates in Minneapolis, not questions on policing, rent control and government powers. Those measures will pass if 51% of the people voting on those questions select "yes." Questions left blank won't be counted as part of the total. For more information about the ballot questions, visit: strib.mn/mplsquestions. Star Tribune news developer Michael Corey contributed to this report. MORE→
> 1 week
Oct 9, 2021

 
 
 
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The Trailer: Andrew Yang's got a new political party -- and he wants to change how we vote
washingtonpost.com
Article
156 chars
Washington Post
BingNews
Andrew Yang joins the third-party movement, ballot measure advocates mobilize in the states, and conservatives double down on the schools issue in Virginia.
> 1 week
Oct 8, 2021

 
 
 
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Op-Ed: Ranked-choice voting
njspotlight.com
Article
6097 chars
NJ Spotlight News
David Goodman
Newscatcher
Despite criticism, ranked-choice voting isn't complex or confusing, it's coming to New Jersey and not a moment too soon.
To date, over 9.3 million U.S. voters have experienced RCV or will do so in their next elections. Ranked-choice voting is currently used in more than 26 cities and two states (Maine and Alaska). Since 2004, when San Francisco first used it to elect municipal offices, there have been 494 RCV elections across these 26 municipalities, with over 20 million ranked-choice ballots cast. A quiet revolution in voter choice is emerging from the shadows. A breakthrough happened this past June with New York City’s Democratic Primary using RCV for the first time. Despite glitches and outright incompetence by the city’s board of elections, a Washington Post editorial declared “Ranked-choice voting works.” Behind those headlines are the experiences of everyday New Yorkers. Most loved RCV and the chance to choose their favorite candidates without fearing a “spoiler” effect. Listening to their words tells the story. Good for New Jersey? Could something similar work for us in New Jersey? And if so, what’s the best path forward? Let’s review the basics: Ranked-choice voting allows voters the option to rank candidates in order of preference: one, two, three and so forth. If your vote cannot help your top choice win, your vote counts for your next choice. Ranked-choice voting is a way to ensure elections are fair for all voters. Voters pick a first-choice candidate and have the option to rank backup candidates in order of their choice: second, third and so on. If a candidate receives more than half of the first choices, that candidate wins, just like in any other election. However, if there is no majority winner after counting first choices, the race is decided by an “instant runoff.” The candidate with the fewest votes is eliminated, and voters who picked that candidate as No. 1 will have their votes count for their next choice. This process continues until either you have a majority winner or a candidate wins with more than half the votes. The claim that “the RCV process is hard to understand” is simply not true. It may be true for convincing politicians and policymakers, who need to understand all the nitty-gritty as such a change is being debated, because it’s new and unfamiliar, but once it’s adopted, voters have no problem understanding how to cast their ballot. The experience of everyday New Yorkers confirms that. FairVote, a national RCV policy organization, has data from decades of usage that shows ballot error is no greater with RCV than with traditional plurality voting. In simple terms, average people rank things all the time: “Get me chocolate; and if they don’t have that, then strawberry, and if they don’t have that, then vanilla.” Those facts did not stop the Massachusetts governor, Charlie Baker, from blurring the lines in 2020, explaining his opposition to a ranked-choice voting as “too complicated.” Add to that the perceived threat to their electoral path by members of the Massachusetts Legislature; voters there were turned off and delivered a crushing 10-percentage-point defeat to a well-financed ranked-choice voting ballot initiative. How do we get a win in New Jersey? Straight-up statewide reform, as Massachusetts illustrates, will not be easy. Yes, two shining examples — Maine (2018) and Alaska (2020) — resulted from voter-approved ballot initiatives, but that’s nearly impossible in New Jersey. For us the bar is very high and a referendum first requires the Legislature’s approval. A need for legislation So we return to the local example begun in the boroughs of New York City. Polls showed local support for this reform to be high. The company Emerson Polling found ranked-choice voting “a popular and growing way of running elections,” both in New York City and elsewhere. We need legislation that gives our towns a chance to experience this for local elective offices. We need to meet people where they are. Bills for instant runoffs have been introduced to do this — A-4744 and S-2992 . Known as the New Jersey Municipal Instant Runoff Act, they are a good start but need to be improved. As written, these bills allow the use of instant runoff (or ranked-choice) voting in local single-seat elections. That needs to be changed to become multiseat elections. Instead of just using instant runoffs, say, for mayor, voters should get to choose members of their town council too. Currently, A-4744 and S-2992 cover only nonpartisan municipalities. That also needs to be changed to all municipalities. Those changes are not impossible. They can happen in committee hearings on both bills during the lame-duck session of the Legislature, post-Election Day 2021. New Jersey voters need to raise their voices; call on their state representatives; and write letters to editors and use social media to demand action. Ranked-choice voting is pro-democracy. It’s about voting rights and voter choice and not a partisan issue. As we lament the rise of voter suppression and disenfranchisement laws, in state after state, we can be proud that New Jersey is heading in the opposite direction with automatic voter and early voting laws. Ranked-choice voting for local elections in New Jersey’s towns should be next. David Goodman is the leader of Represent New Jersey, a chapter of Represent.Us, a national grassroots anti-corruption movement advocating for election and campaign finance reform. MORE→
> 1 week
Oct 8, 2021

 
 
 
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How does ranked choice voting work?
video.startribune.com
Article
422 chars
Star Tribune
Mark Vancleave
Newscatcher
Residents of Minneapolis, St. Paul and several suburbs will have at least one rank choice election on their ballots this November. But how does ranked choice voting work, and what does it mean for our elections? MORE→
Residents of Minneapolis, St. Paul and several suburbs will have at least one rank choice election on their ballots this November. But how does ranked choice voting work, and what does it mean for our elections? MORE→
> 1 week
Oct 8, 2021

 
 
 
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Experts discuss potential of ranked-choice voting at UW Panel The Badger Herald
badgerherald.com
Article
3891 chars
The Badger Herald
ContextualWeb
'This, in turn, may lead to decreased political polarity, especially amongst the candidates themselves,' expert said
Shane Fruchterman /The Badger Herald This morning, a panel of experts convened to discuss ranked-choice voting in Wisconsin and around the country in a virtual briefing, according to the University of Wisconsin-Madison Elections Research Center . Speakers at the briefing, “Can Ranked-Choice Voting Work in Wisconsin?” included Lee Drutman, Amy Fried, Andrea Benjamin and David Farrell. The briefing was moderated by professor Michael Wagner. According to briefing panelist Andrea Benjamin, who is a professor of African American Studies at the University of Oklahoma, this could improve the United States’ current electoral system by allowing voters to express a wider range of preferences. Your guide to voting on Election Day Here is everything you need to know about voting in-person or dropping off ballots ahead of the election tomorrow. You Read… Ranked-choice voting would allow voters to pick multiple candidates in order of preference, and the candidate with over 50% of first-choice votes wins. If no candidate has the majority, a new process begins, with voters’ ballots redistributed to their second-choice candidate. This process can be repeated until one candidate receives the majority of votes, according to Time. Panelist and Professor of political science at the University of Maine Amy Fried said it could also increase the influence of independent candidates. “People could vote for their favorite candidate, not just the candidate they think is most likely to win or most likely to beat the opposing party,” Fried said. “ This, in turn, may lead to decreased political polarity, especially amongst the candidates themselves.” New York used ranked-choice voting for Primary and Special Elections for the offices of Mayor, Public Advocate, Comptroller, Borough President and City Council. Benjamin said voter turnout has to be high for this to work. “Voter turnout is so low,” Benjamin said. “Even making electoral reform in our local elections, it’s still only the same 6% of people that vote. I t’s important to consider what barriers are currently preventing people from voting and focus on alleviating those issues before turning to a ranked-choice voting system.” New York, however, saw an increased voter turnout of 13% after implementing ranked-choice voting, according to Spectrum News. UW professors discuss the role of critical race theory in classes, the political arena Controversy over how race should be taught in schools has sprouted up across the United States, with many states, including Read… Benjamin said regardless of whether or not ranked-choice voting continues to spread through the U.S., public interest in adopting this new system remains. “People are interested because they want elections to produce better outcomes,” Benjamin said. “People want there to be functional legislative bodies, whether that’s at the state level or at the national level.” MORE→
> 1 week
Oct 8, 2021

 
 
 
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Eps. 14: Ranked choice voting vs. STAR voting.
youtube.com
Video
0:27:07
YouTube
Alan On Politics
BingVideo
Alan compares ranked choice voting to STAR Voting and gives reasons why he thinks STAR Voting would be a better replacement for our current voting methods.
> 1 week
Oct 8, 2021

 
 
 
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Clearwater drops ranked choice voting referendum
news.yahoo.com
Article
2325 chars
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> 1 week
Oct 8, 2021

 
 
 
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Will the Sarasota City Commission defend voters’ choices?
yourobserver.com
Article
8067 chars
Your Observer
Adrian Moore Contributor
Newscatcher
When 75% of city voters make a decision, the job of the City Commission is to respect and defend that vote.
Worse, when the City Commission just held a hearing Sept. 20 to discuss the issue, and many citizens, including myself, spoke up on the issue, almost all in favor of the commission taking action to defend the voters’ decision in 2007, the commission instead spend most of the time discussing whether each member of the commission personally thought ranked choice voting was a good idea. Do we live in a democracy? Or are our votes just a suggestion?What is ranked choice voting?Ranked choice voting is not a bizarre fringe idea. A number of countries, including Canada and New Zealand, use it for national elections, and states including Utah, Colorado, Michigan and Oregon use it for local elections. As the image below shows, a typical ranked choice election would have voters rank all of the candidates for a position, picking their first, second, third choices, and so on if there are more candidates.If no one gets more than 50% of the vote, then the candidate with the lowest number of votes is eliminated, and people who chose that candidate as their first choice have their votes reallocated to their second choice. This continues until one candidate gets more than 50% of the vote. Not-for-profit organization Rank My Vote Florida has a short and very clear video explaining ranked choice voting.This system has a number of advantages over our usual “pick one candidate” voting system. As New College political science professor Frank Alcock said at the Sept. 20 commission hearing, ranked choice voting allows voters to express much more completely their preferences — saying that who you select as first, second … and last puts a lot more of your preferences into the final decision than does only getting to pick one candidate among many. Ranked choice voting is popular with voters who experience using it. At the hearing, commissioners heard from Rank My Vote Florida, a statewide grassroots organization of Floridians advocating for ranked choice voting in their cities who gave a detailed presentation on the merits of ranked choice voting and its use around the world and across the U.S.Stan Lockhart, a former GOP chair for the state of Utah, also spoke in favor of ranked choice voting, explaining how popular and effective it has been in Utah since the state adopted it for local elections. Polling results from a number of U.S. cities show that huge majorities of voters approve of ranked choice voting once they had a chance to use it, which is not surprising because ranked choice votes tend to result in winners that a large majority of people had in their top three choices. Most people would prefer their second or third choice win to having their last choice win, and in many of our elections, people see either their first choice or their last choice win. Currently, it’s all or nothing, and a substantial minority are always deeply unhappy with the outcome, while in ranked choice voting, usually most people at least get their second or third choice and are less unhappy about the outcome.Doesn’t that sound pleasant in an era in which it seems someone is disputing every election outcome?What's the sticking point in adopting ranked choice voting in Sarasota?After Sarasota voters approved the change in their voting system, the next step was for the Florida secretary of state to certify the software used to count votes in the new system. But they have refused to do so, citing the Florida Constitution Article VI, which states “General elections shall be decided by a plurality of votes cast.”Ranked choice voting selects a winner who gets a majority, not just a plurality, of votes. But Florida law defines a general election as “an election held … for the purpose of filling national, state, county and district offices.” By the state’s own legal definitions, the limitation cited by the secretary of state does not apply to municipal elections. So not only did the City Commission discuss whether to give it their blessing, but the secretary of state also denied that ranked choice voting conformed to the Florida Constitution, when it fact it does conform. Citizens should be outraged at this paternalistic handling of voters’ clearly articulated decision to adopt ranked choice voting. At the Sept. 20 meeting, the commission was to vote on the proposal for the city of Sarasota to seek a declaratory judgment that the Florida Constitution allows ranked choice voting in municipal elections. That would clear the way for the secretary of state to certify the software needed for the new city election system.The city would bear no costs for seeking this judgment; Rank My Vote Florida has raised the money to pay for the lawyers and legal arguments and to bring the right stakeholders to the process to make the effort succeed. The commission also heard from Clearwater Mayor Frank Hibbard and Gainesville Commissioner Harvey Ward. They explained that both cities want to approve a move to ranked choice voting but are stymied by the secretary of state’s decision on Sarasota. Only Sarasota has legal standing to ask the courts to look at the secretary of state’s decision and to try to get a clearer reading on state law that would allow cities to adopt ranked choice voting.So not only has the secretary of state’s misreading of the law denied Sarasota voters the voting system they overwhelmingly chose, but it has also prevented many other cities in Florida from adopting ranked choice voting for fear the secretary of state won’t certify their new election software either. After more than an hour of discussion, the City Commission voted to approve the proposal to ask the court for a summary judgment with a 4-1 vote, with Mayor Hagen Brody the only no vote — in spite of 75% of his own city’s voters supporting ranked choice voting. But the next day, Vice Mayor Erik Arroyo asked the commission to revisit the decision in October. So it is not over yet. This decision should not be even remotely controversial.When 75% of city voters make a decision, the job of the commission is to respect and defend that vote, not to decide if they agree with the voters’ decision. But unfortunately, the majority of the discussion and debate among commissioners Sept. 20 was, “Is ranked choice voting good?” not “Should we defend our voters’ decision or not?” And the decision to table what Sarasotans voted for and revisit it is a shocking maneuver to stall and obstruct what voters want.Rather than take the simple and costless step of asking the court for a ruling that will allow the choice of city voters to go into effect, the commission will again debate whether they agree with the voters’ decision.It’s kind of outrageous. Adrian Moore is the vice president of Reason Foundation and lives in Sarasota. MORE→
> 1 week
Oct 7, 2021

 
 
 
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Ranked-choice voting would increase turnout
baystatebanner.com
Article
4912 chars
The Bay State Banner
Cheryl Clyburn Crawford And Reverend Vernon K. Walker
Newscatcher
Boston can create more fair and inclusive city elections by eliminating the low-turnout September preliminary election and adopting ranked choice voting for its November general election instead.
Fortunately, these are both problems that can be avoided with a simple fix. Boston can create more fair and inclusive city elections by eliminating the low-turnout September preliminary election and adopting ranked choice voting for its November general election instead. Ranked choice voting gives voters the power to rank candidates on the ballot in order of preference: first choice, second choice, and so on. It’s a bit like a more efficient version of the current system. Where the current system asks voters for the first choice in September, and if that candidate is eliminated, for their backup choice in November, ranked choice voting lets voters mark both choices on a single ballot, in a single trip to the polls. Ranked choice voting offers several key improvements over the current system. First, the city can save substantial money by dropping the preliminary. Second, preliminary elections have very low turnout, and statistically, the lower the turnout in an election, the more wealthy and white the electorate becomes. In last month’s preliminary, there was a 10-point gap between the most diverse and least diverse voting precincts. Ranked choice voting would also give voters more reasons to turn out in November, as more voices and choices would be on the general election ballot. It would include and engage more voters in the process with a single, higher-turnout election. Third, concerns about vote-splitting go away when voters can rank their backup choices. The admonishments that black voters should have ignored their true preferences and lined up behind a single candidate in the preliminary, as occurred both in 2013 mayoral race and this year, are paternalistic and undemocratic. With ranked choice voting, votes that would otherwise be split coalesce naturally behind a single candidate, without the need to bully voters to cast an insincere vote or strong-arm potential “spoiler” candidates to step aside. Lastly, ranked choice voting encourages candidates to run more positive campaigns. We all saw the negative attacks between the Janey and Campbell camps. Unfortunately, that strategy is logical under the current system: When two candidates risk splitting the vote, the best tactic is often to tear each other down. Under ranked choice, those campaigns would have had a greater incentive to reach out positively to their respective bases, to earn more second choice spots. While the ranked choice voting ballot question fell short statewide last year, Boston voters did vote in favor, as did voters in more than 80 other communities across the Commonwealth. Two of these Massachusetts cities will be holding ranked choice voting elections this November, and at least three other cities and towns are actively pursuing adoption for their local elections, as well. Nationwide, use of ranked choice voting continues to accelerate, with more than 50 jurisdictions across the country to hold a ranked choice election this year or next. As Boston continues to strive for greater equity and inclusion, the preliminary election system should not avoid scrutiny. Replacing the preliminary with ranked choice voting in the general election would include more voters in the final decision, give voters more reasons to turn out in November, eliminate the problem of “vote-splitting,” encourage positive campaigning — and save us all a few bucks, too. We call on those who are elected to our city council and mayor’s office next month to commit to bringing this important improvement in our democracy to Boston. Cheryl Clyburn Crawford is executive director of MassVOTE, first vice president of the NAACP Boston Branch and a Voter Choice Massachusetts board member. Reverend Vernon K. Walker is a member of the Massachusetts Democratic State Committee and Advisory Board Member of Rank the Vote. MORE→
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Oct 7, 2021

 
 
 
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Ranked-Choice Voting, Redistricting Could Change Next Year's Ballots
arlnow.com
Article
9179 chars
ARLnow.com
Jo Devoe
ContextualWeb
Elections in Arlington County could change dramatically in the coming years. First, County Board members are considering whether to do away with first-past-the-post voting for their seats and replace it with ranked-choice voting (RCV). And second, a 16-person bipartisan commission is redrawing bo MORE→
Elections in Arlington County could change dramatically in the coming years. First, County Board members are considering whether to do away with first-past-the-post voting for their seats and replace it with ranked-choice voting (RCV). And second, a 16-person bipartisan commission is redrawing boundaries for Virginia’s congressional, state Senate and House of Delegates districts, replacing the former redistricting process led by the state legislature. As early as a 2022 primary, Arlingtonians could rank their picks for a County Board seat. They are also likely to see one fewer delegate and state senator representing the county. During a Tuesday County Board meeting, county elections chief Gretchen Reinemeyer fielded questions from members about implementing , calculating and educating the public about ranked-choice voting and previewed how the 2020 U.S. Census could impact Arlington’s electoral districts. A few Board members expressed their support for the system, also known as “instant runoff,” which selects a winner over the course of many elimination rounds. “I think it does lead to much healthier campaigns and conversations,” Board Vice-Chair Katie Cristol said. “If your second choice is on the Board, making choices on your behalf, even if your first choice isn’t, I think that increases your tie to, and hopefully faith in, government,” she said. Board Chair Matt de Ferranti said the system could fix issues in Arlington’s electoral process, but he requested more expert input before making a decision. “Many in our community have said, ‘We don’t just want one party ,'” he said. “For me, it would help [to understand] the math and then [lift] up the values that we want in our elections.” Arlington’s ‘test run’ The County Board is expected to decide if RCV it applies to elections for their own seats, and whether it would be used in primaries, the general election, or both. In 2020, the General Assembly gave municipalities the go-ahead to use ranked-choice voting locally, effective July 1, 2022. At the request of Del. Patrick Hope (D-47), it granted Arlington the ability to test out the system one year in advance. So far, the county hasn’t taken advantage of this extra time, drawing criticism from this year’s independent candidates for County Board. They say the reform — although it wouldn’t apply this November — would add political diversity to the Board. “That’s the plot by which some people in our community believe [we] have failed to act,” Board Member Christian Dorsey said. Reinemeyer said due to an overlooked provision in electoral codes, Arlington couldn’t do anything until the state Board of Elections drafted ballot standards and tabulating rules. School Board races are exempt both from Hope’s Arlington-specific law and the statewide one. Hope says he couldn’t find support for RCV among School Board members at the time. Still, Hope said he and Del. Sally Hudson (D-57), a sponsor of the statewide bill , are open to including School Boards if ranked-choice voting proves popular. “I’d be open to bringing a bill in 2022 to expand ranked choice voting that would just apply to the Arlington School Board,” he said. “It could serve as a model for the rest of the Commonwealth.” Different methods, different results? Some members were concerned about whether different calculation methods could change election outcomes. They said this would undermine voter confidence when it’s already low after the 2020 presidential election. “It’s fascinating me that depending on the process, the winners come out differently. That worries me, for confidence and all kinds of reasons,” Board Member Libby Garvey said. Reinemeyer told the Board that, per Virginia code, the State Board of Elections has chosen to draft one set of rules for calculating results, meaning the choice is out of any single jurisdiction’s hands. Garvey said that’s probably a good thing. “I could see the first election, where it comes out, somebody who lost can prove, ‘If you tabulated it this way, our candidate would have [won],'” she said. Reinemeyer later told ARLnow that she does not know if different methods could produce different outcomes, and “more research is needed on tabulation methodologies.” What’s next As soon as the state elections board officially adopts its standards, the Arlington County Board could draft and pass an ordinance. An ordinance has to be in place 60 days before an election, but Reinemeyer recommends making the change before Jan. 2 of an election year to minimize impacts to candidates. “My hope is that the state will adopt the regulations in time to use ranked choice voting next year, if that’s the county’s choice,” she said. The county will also have to develop an outreach plan. “We’re fortunate this has been socialized to a degree: the Arlington County Democratic Committee has been doing this for the School Board for years, and the County Board last year,” said Matt Weinstein, Chair of the Arlington Electoral Board . “But it’s going to be a heavy lift. It’s a new way of voting for many voters.” Redistricting As for redistricting, it’s both a year behind schedule and unfamiliar. Redrawing new boundaries occurs every 10 years following the U.S. Census. Redistricting was pushed back by 11 months following census delays caused by the pandemic. This year, Reinemeyer said, “the redistricting process is completely new and unlike any of the previously used processes in Virginia.” In 2020, voters supported a measure to establish a bipartisan Redistricting Commission , comprised of eight legislators and eight citizens, that redraws boundaries. And now, the new commission is running up against deadlines and still in a gridlock . Virginians are invited to comment on maps or speak at commission meetings through Oct. 25. Boundaries would be redrawn for Arlington’s single congressional district, its three state Senate districts (30th, 31st and 32nd) and its four House of Delegates districts (45th, 47th, 48th and 49th). According to Reinemeyer, the congressional district is likely to be unchanged, while most of the proposed maps give Arlington two Senate districts, down from three, and three House districts, down from four. Completed, commission-approved maps go to the General Assembly for a vote. If voted down, the commission tries again. If the maps are nixed a second time, the state Supreme Court draws the maps. Arlington’s Electoral Board Secretary Scott McGeary said state Democrats think this could get dicey. “I was with a group of four members of majority party in the Senate, and their expectation is that there will be lawsuits particularly if the districts are drawn by the Supreme Court,” McGeary said. “It could also happen if they don’t do that and the final word is held with commission with support of the General Assembly.” MORE→
> 1 week
Oct 7, 2021

 
 
 
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Letter: Embrace ranked-choice voting
columbian.com
Article
629 chars
The Columbian
Lindsey Zeigler , Vancouver
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Washingtonians are independent thinkers who are difficult to put into a box.
Washingtonians are independent thinkers who are difficult to put into a box. I grew up in this area full of natural beauty and feel lucky to have attended our great schools with inspired teachers who taught me the value of a good education and of democracy. I love living here, and as a citizen of Clark County I take pride in my responsibility to vote for the choices that will both preserve and nurture my unique home. When I place my vote I want it to count, and that is why I want the option of ranked-choice voting available for all Washingtonians. MORE→
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Oct 7, 2021

 
 
 
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Can Ranked-choice Voting Work in Wisconsin?
youtube.com
Video
1:15:56
YouTube
Elections Research Center
BingVideo
Ranked-choice voting is being debated around the country and in Wisconsin. Watch a panel of experts review lessons learned elsewhere to help inform policymakers and the public about how ranked-choice voting would change elections in the Badger State. We recorded this ranked-choice voting panel on October 7, 2021. Speakers: Nils Ringe (Host ... MORE→
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Oct 7, 2021

 
 
 
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There is a better way to run city elections — and it’s native to Philadelphia | Opinion
inquirer.com
Article
6036 chars
https://www.inquirer.com
Jack Santucci, For The Inquirer
BingNews
While City Council’s recent decision to study ranked choice voting is commendable, there is an alternative that’s easier on voters and election officials and has a much better track record.
This type of RCV works for any kind of election that picks one winner. But it works less well for elections to several seats, such as those that fill the seven seats of City Council’s at-large members . So if Philly wants to join other cities in using RCV, it will need to consider alternatives. One option is to use block-preferential RCV , also called “sequential” or “multi-pass” RCV. The rules are a bit confusing, but the basic idea is to award every seat to the majority grouping. Hence it could eliminate candidates that represent a minority of the electorate , even if that minority is sizable. Another option is to eliminate the at-large seats entirely, then move to a council of 17 single-seat districts. Again, this could eliminate minority representation, depending on how groups were distributed among the newly drawn districts. For instance, there might be even less representation of Republicans and the Working Families Party . A third option now goes by “proportional RCV.” Again, the voter ranks candidates in order of preference. But instead of requiring a majority, each candidate would need roughly 12.5% of votes to win. (Or, if there were nine seats, that figure would be 10%.) But in America, “proportional RCV” made city councils ungovernable, as voters began ranking candidates from opposing parties , so politicians did not know which voters they represented. There are other reasons to second-guess RCV systems. Last year, a series of studies by the D.C.-based think tank New America found mostly mixed, null, or negative effects — on policy outcomes , minority representation , and voter satisfaction . Ultimately, most voters preferred just to “choose one.” Further, according to FairVote , which promotes RCV, 96% of outcomes would not have been different in a system where the winner is the person with the most votes. The alternative I suggest is the “one-vote system,” based on an 1844 invention by Philadelphian Thomas Gilpin. As part of this system, each voter gets one vote, which counts for both the person and their party. Parties then earn seats in proportion to their vote shares. And those seats go to the candidates with the most votes within their parties, which lets voters choose which candidates represent each party. Systems like one-vote (technically called open-list) are common around the world — much more common than versions of RCV. There is no need for voter education. Results are known immediately. More importantly, politicians are clear about which voters they represent. Election reform has become a hot issue. People are unhappy with the state of democracy, and they want to try out new electoral systems in cities. Philly has a model to offer the nation, and reformers should give it more thought. Jack Santucci is an assistant teaching professor of politics at Drexel University and an expert on ranked choice voting. He is the author of “More Parties or No Parties: The Politics of Electoral Reform in America” (forthcoming from Oxford University Press). MORE→
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Oct 6, 2021

 
 
 
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Ranked-choice voting set for Easthampton's mayoral election
youtube.com
Video
0:00:35
YouTube
Wwlp-22News
BingVideo
This November will be Easthampton's first election using ranked-choice voting. Stay informed about Massachusetts news, weather, breaking news and investigations! Follow WWLP on our website and social channels: https://www.wwlp.com/ https://www.youtube.com/user/wwlp https://www.facebook.com/WWLP22News https://twitter.com/WWLP22News https://www ... MORE→
> 1 week
Oct 6, 2021

 
 
 
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Ranked-choice voting for Easthampton’s mayoral election
wwlp.com
Article
837 chars
WWLP
Kristina D'Amours
BingNews
This November will be Easthampton’s first election using rank choice voting.
EASTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – This November will be Easthampton’s first election using Ranked-Choice voting. The city voted in favor of rank choice voting in 2019. The new system will allow voters to rank candidates in order of preference, however those preferences will only be used if no candidate receives a majority of votes in the first round. “I have at times felt it was a little confusing,” local resident Carol Weis told 22News. “I think it is a good thing. It gives candidates more of a chance and it gives us more of a chance as voters.” Election Day is November 2. The mayor’s race in Easthampton will use Ranked-Choice voting, though the only other contested race on the ballot, that for Councilor At-Large, will not. MORE→
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Oct 6, 2021

 
 
 
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Phillips
phillips.house.gov
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13779 chars
Representative Dean Phillips
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Washington, D.C. – Rep. Dean Phillips (D-MN), along with Sens. Michael Bennet (D-CO) and Angus King (I-ME), reintroduced the Voter Choice Act to boost adoption of a ranked choice voting (RCV) model for elections, also known as an “instant runoff.” The Voter Choice Act provides $40 million in federal grants to cover up to 50 percent of the cost for local and state governments that choose to adopt RCV. “Our democracy is at a crossroads. Amid historic division and partisan rancor, we must take meaningful action to improve our electoral system from the ground up,” said Phillips. MORE→
Washington, D.C. – Rep. Dean Phillips (D-MN), along with Sens. Michael Bennet (D-CO) and Angus King (I-ME), reintroduced the Voter Choice Act to boost adoption of a ranked choice voting (RCV) model for elections, also known as an “instant runoff.” The Voter Choice Act provides $40 million in federal grants to cover up to 50 percent of the cost for local and state governments that choose to adopt RCV. “Our democracy is at a crossroads. Amid historic division and partisan rancor, we must take meaningful action to improve our electoral system from the ground up,” said Phillips. “That is why, as cities, states, and even political parties – both red and blue – have recognized, we need ranked choice voting. RCV is simple, empowers voters, and rewards candidates who broaden support beyond their base. The Voter Choice Act provides financial resources and technical assistance to communities seeking to adopt RCV without imposing a mandate on communities not yet ready for change.” “Partisanship is imperiling our democracy and impeding progress, and we need creative reforms to make government work again for the American people,” said Bennet . “I believe ranked choice voting can improve our elections by giving voters more choices, discouraging slash-and-burn politics, and rewarding candidates who appeal to a broad majority of voters. Our bill supports states and local governments that choose to adopt this promising reform.” “Ranked Choice Voting is an opportunity to incentivize candidates – and as a result, elected officials – to build consensus rather than exploit divisions, better reflecting the will of the American people,” said King. “The process is, in essence, an instant runoff that allows the priorities of voters to be more accurately captured on Election Day without the added expense to taxpayers of a completely new tally. Our bill will provide logistical support to the state and local governments that choose to adopt Ranked Choice Voting, allowing them to make the choice that will best serve their citizens.” In most U.S. elections today, the candidate with the most votes wins. Under this system, a candidate can win even if they receive far less than a majority of all votes cast. Moreover, voters supporting third parties can inadvertently hand victory to candidates with views diametrically opposed to their own. This can make elections less representative of the voters and discourage political competition. Instead of voting for a single candidate, RCV allows voters to rank candidates in order of preference. If no candidate earns a majority after counting first choices, the last-place candidate is eliminated. Voters for the eliminated candidate then have their ballot count for their next choice. The process repeats until one candidate earns a majority. Early evidence suggests that, by rewarding candidates for appealing to a broad swath of voters, RCV can discourage extreme partisanship, incent a greater focus on substantive issues, and ensure that election winners better reflect the views of most voters. RCV is the fastest-growing election reform in America. According to FairVote , 22 jurisdictions used RCV in their most recent elections and another 20 will use it for the first time this November. Five cities in Minnesota — St. Paul, Minneapolis, St. Louis Park, Minnetonka, and Bloomington — will use RCV for their mayoral and council races in 2021. Today, jurisdictions or political parties in 29 states have adopted some form of RCV for their elections: RCV used for statewide and presidential elections: Alaska and Maine RCV used for 2020 presidential primaries: Hawaii, Kansas, Nevada, and Wyoming RCV used for local elections: California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Tennessee, Utah, and Vermont RCV used for military & overseas voting: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi, and South Carolina, RCV used for party elections: Texas and Virginia The bill text is available HERE . “The Voter Choice Act will help scale the fastest-growing election reform in the country. Every community deserves the opportunity to try ranked choice voting elections, and the Voter Choice Act lowers the barrier to participation,” said Rob Ritchie, President and CEO of FairVote . "I applaud the leadership of Congressman Phillips and Senators Bennet and King in supporting the movement for Ranked Choice Voting as it builds across the country," said FairVote Minnesota Executive Director Jeanne Massey. "In Minnesota and in a growing number of jurisdictions, we are seeing the power of Ranked Choice Voting to incentivize more positive, constructive, and inclusive elections. RCV rewards candidates to go beyond their base and build broad coalitions of support, which is key to depolarizing our politics and strengthening our democracy. We are grateful to Congressman Phillips and Senators Bennet and King for leading our democracy forward with legislation that will help accelerate this promising reform at the local and state level.” "Ranked Choice Voting is one of the most promising reform options for reducing our crippling levels of political polarization in the United States. As more and more American cities (and now states) adopt RCV, voters are finding that they like its democratic features. RCV offers voters more choice, more voice, less negative campaigns, and more broadly appealing outcomes, since winners must ultimately win support from a majority of voters. By allocating federal funds to help state and local governments with the transition to RCV, the Voter Choice Act would make an important contribution to the repair and renewal of American democracy," said Larry Diamond, Professor of Political Science and Sociology, Stanford University. “At a time when zero-sum hyper-partisanship is breaking American democracy, ranked-choice voting offers a rare glimmer of hope. It's a proven way to build more consensus-oriented politics and incentivize positive-sum problem-solving. And perhaps most important, it gives voters more choices and strengthens competition in our democracy. The Voter Choice Act of 2020 is a tremendous step forward in repairing our fractured democracy,” said Lee Drutman, Senior Fellow, New America . "The Voter Choice Act is an essential data-driven strategy to advance women's representation and leadership in politics. Women are getting elected at higher rates in jurisdictions with Ranked Choice Voting because more women run, split votes among women candidates are eliminated, campaigns are more affordable and less negative, and those elected have a true mandate to govern -- all building blocks for a 21st century democracy," said Cynthia Richie Terrell, founder and CEO of RepresentWomen. “Ranked choice voting is a pro-voter policy that can help restore confidence in our elections by making candidates more responsive to their constituents and by giving voters a larger voice at the ballot box,” said New Mexico Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver. “We’ve seen communities across New Mexico embrace ranked-choice voting as a positive step that promotes consensus building over political division in our elections and I’m excited to see this bill reintroduced this year.” "The Voter Choice Act provides financial support for local and state governments to expand options and choice for voters. In primary elections and other elections where there are numerous candidates running, ranked choice voting ensures that voters can prioritize their selections. Further, more Americans are voting before Election Day than ever before and especially in presidential primaries where candidates start to drop out before Election Day, ranked choice voting ensures the voters’ preferences are reflected in the counting process. Simply put, the VCA is a positive step forward in the movement to put voters first and ensure all voices are heard in the voting process," said Amber McReynolds, Democracy and Voting Innovator, former Colorado election officials and co-author of When Women Vote. “I applaud the leadership of Senator Michael Bennet, Senator Angus King, and Congressman Dean Phillips in introducing the Voter Choice Act to assist local and state governments transitioning to Rank Choice Voting (RCV). For the past quarter of a century, extreme partisanship and political polarization in our political system have too often led to government paralysis and a national consensus that government no longer works at the federal level. To restore public confidence and make our government work again, we must maximize citizen participation in our elections and encourage elected officials to truly represent the interests of all their constituents. RCV enables voters to support their first choice without the risk of inadvertently helping elect their last choice and thereby discourages negative campaigning by rewarding candidates who through consensus-building become the second choice for supporters of their opponents. RCV has worked well in more than a dozen municipalities across the country, and has recently been adopted by the state of Maine and New York City. By helping local and state governments transition to RCV, The Voter Choice Act would help provide more evidence-based research to guide other jurisdictions as they consider structural and systemic electoral reforms to strengthen American democracy,” said Ralph G. Neas, former CEO of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and Senior Counsel on Voting Rights to The Century Foundation. “Senator Bennet is standing up for all voters by introducing the Voter Choice Act. Our current system limits competition and choice. In towns that use Ranked Choice Voting (RCV), voters are free to cast their ballots for candidates they love the most, without fear of helping to elect candidates they like the least. The results are crystal clear: voters are heard, and they know it. Democrats, Republicans, minor party, and unaffiliated voters agree that RCV is a common-sense way to strengthen democracy and put more power in the hands of the voters. The Voter Choice Act will help more places opt to use RCV. RCV for Colorado is grateful to Senator Bennet for supporting the political freedom that every American deserves,” said Linda Templin, Executive Director for RCV for Colorado. “Our current plurality voting method is the worst of all systems because it discourages participation and can result in misrepresentations of the electorate when there are more than two candidates vying for the same office. Fortunately, we have an alternative method with Instant Runoff Voting or Ranked Choice Voting. RCV would provide opportunities for more candidates to freely run for office while encouraging positive yet competitive campaigns where the winner is chosen by a majority of the voters. Local communities like Broomfield want to be on the front lines of this implementation, and in order to be successful in our early adoption, it is imperative there is assistance from the state and national levels of government,” said Deven Shaff, City and County of Broomfield Councilmember. “Stand Up Republic Colorado and its over three thousand supporters know that when given the opportunity, voters overwhelmingly choose ranked choice voting. The VCA will afford that opportunity to more communities by reducing barriers to funding, an investment in the democratic institutions of our republic that we can all be proud of,” said Justin Kurth, Colorado State Leader, Stand Up Republic. "I have been Co-Chair of the New York State Board of Elections since 2005 and previously for 12 years served as a commissioner on the New York City Board of Elections. I support ranked choice voting and am encouraged by how it worked in this year's New York City primary elections. I urge enactment of the Voter's Choice Act as a sensible means to help states and cities in that important transition period when they must adapt their voting equipment and procedures and introduce a new method of voting to their voters," said Doug Kellner, co-chair of the NY State Board of Elections. "The Voter Choice Act provides needed support for local cities to implement rank choice voting. Instead of voting for a single candidate, RCV allows voters to rank candidates in order of preference. This is a common sense reform that would empower localities to have a more representative voting system," said Libby Schaaf, Mayor of Oakland, CA. ### MORE→
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Oct 6, 2021

 
 
 
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Organizers withdraw Utah initiative seeking nonpartisan primaries
kutv.com
Article
386 chars
KUTV
Daniel Woodruff
Newscatcher
Organizers of an initiative that would have dramatically overhauled elections in Utah are withdrawing it and will no longer be trying to put the issue on Utah’s ballot in 2022. The initiative, known as Utahns for Fair Elections, sought to establish a single, non-partisan primary election. Under that system, the top five finishers in each race would move to the general election. MORE→
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County Board Work Session – Rank Choice Voting
youtube.com
Video
4:41:37
YouTube
Arlington Tv
BingVideo
> 1 week
Oct 6, 2021
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