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Ranked Choice Voting in Woodland Hills
youtube.com
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0:06:32
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City Of Woodland Hills, Utah
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> 2 weeks
Sep 30, 2021

 
 
 
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Ranked-choice voting
recorder.com
Article
1805 chars
Greenfield Recorder
Chris Larabee -
Newscatcher
Montague’s recent special election is an excellent example of why many people believe ranked-choice voting would be a better system. The results show two things: the difference between first and second place was razor thin — one vote, out of 671 — and... MORE→
Published: 9/30/2021 9:25:04 AM Montague’s recent special election is an excellent example of why many people believe ranked-choice voting would be a better system. The results show two things: the difference between first and second place was razor thin — one vote, out of 671 — and both the two front runners received fewer than 30% of the votes. That means that more than 40% of the voters didn’t choose either one of them. In a ranked-choice system, voters could have indicated their second, and even third and fourth choices. When no candidate received a majority, the lowest vote-getter would have been eliminated, and their voters’ second choice votes would have been distributed accordingly. If there were still no candidate receiving a majority (as would have happened in this case), the process would have repeated, until there was either a tie or a majority winner. Would the outcome have been different? Who knows? But at least it would have been clear that the winner had more support from more people than the others. That did not happen in this case. I think those who argue that ranked-choice voting is “too complicated” are insulting the intelligence of the general public. People routinely deal with more complexity than this system requires. What’s so complicated about saying, “I like A, but if I can’t have A I’d prefer C over B”? I hope that people continue to advocate for it, and that one day a majority agrees that it’s a better way to go. Michael Naughton Millers Falls MORE→
> 2 weeks
Sep 30, 2021

 
 
 
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Opinion: Les Gara should be your No.1 choice under the new voting system. Here’s why
juneauempire.com
Article
4141 chars
Juneau Empire
Wire Service
BingNews
I have watched him beat down barriers few people could overcome.
By Karen Compton As someone who’s volunteered on campaigns I believe in, I know what makes a strong candidate. Les Gara is that person for the 2022 governor’s race. While we’ve all fretted in the past about races where multiple candidates we can support might “split the vote” and help the candidate we like least, that’s no longer a concern under the new ranked choice voting law passed by voters in 2020. I’ll get to that later. First a few words about Gara, whom I know well and admire. I have watched him beat down barriers few people could overcome. When Les was 6 years old, his father was killed and he had to survive a childhood in foster care. He worked his way through school, college and eventually graduated from Harvard Law School with honors. As a legislator, Gara became a tireless advocate for others. Whether it’s a good job, college, job training, support for abused children, or respect for your elders that you want, Gara has been there for you. He knows many Alaskans grew up with hardship, and maybe because of his own experience, has always battled for the things that give people a fair chance to succeed in life. That’s his core value. He’s been this state’s biggest champion in the Legislature for abused and neglected foster youth, and earned both local and national recognition for that work. He thinks you deserve the right to job training or college even if you can’t afford it, and fought for scholarship aid so money isn’t a barrier to anyone’s success. Our current Governor has tried to rip down the things that help people move forward. Les has always worked to build them up. Politics is a game where people get labeled. You can’t label Gara. He’s a fisherman, knows the Pebble Mine is a toxic nightmare that endangers the world’s greatest salmon runs, but also supports the good jobs that come with responsible resource development. He’s supported renewable energy to help fight climate change, and a vibrant Marine Highway that residents and businesses deserve. I get that the wealthiest oil executives want us to give away our oil for nothing, and they have the current governor on their side to do their bidding against the rest of us. That’s their job. Gara knows his job is to represent the rest of us. He knows if we don’t get a fair share for our oil we’ll never balance our budget, and won’t ever be able to fund schools, renewable energy, road maintenance, a strong University, the PFD, or anything that helps people move ahead in the world. Finally, a few words about the new ranked choice voting system. It says the top four candidates in the August election, regardless of party, move on to the November election. We can now rank our first- and second-choice candidates. If you like two candidates, you rank them in the order you want. The fourth-place candidate gets disqualified first, and the second-choice votes for that candidate then get distributed among the remaining three candidates. If no one passes the 50% mark with those votes, then the third-place candidate is disqualified, and the second choice of that candidate’s voters get distributed. While I didn’t vote for this change, it does allow you to vote for your favorite candidate, and your second favorite candidate without hurting either of them. Your votes aren’t split anymore, they get shared. So you can vote your conscience and build back our state with a new governor. Join me in supporting Les Gara in 2022. • Karen Compton has worked on a number of campaigns in Alaska, volunteered and fundraised for the ski jumping program, and raised two sons in Anchorage with her husband Steve. Columns, My Turns and Letters to the Editor represent the view of the author, not the view of the Juneau Empire. Have something to say? Here’s how to submit a My Turn or letter. MORE→
> 2 weeks
Sep 30, 2021

 
 
 
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What is ranked choice voting? A political scientist explains
britannica.com
Article
14189 chars
Encyclopedia Britannica
BingNews
More places in the United States are experimenting with ranked choice voting, an election method that has proponents and detractors.
While every effort has been made to follow citation style rules, there may be some discrepancies. Please refer to the appropriate style manual or other sources if you have any questions. URL Joshua Holzer This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article , which was published August 9, 2021. Ranked choice voting is on the rise in the United States, with nearly two dozen places now using the system for various offices including, most recently, New York City for its mayoral primary elections. By the end of 2021, more than 20 Utah municipalities will be using this method, which lets voters rank candidates in order of preference. Two cities in Minnesota will also try it this year: Bloomington and Minnetonka . By 2022, the state of Alaska will be using a variation of the system, as will the California cities of Albany, Eureka and Palm Desert . By 2023, Boulder , Colorado, and Burlington , Vermont, will also be using it. Although it was new for New Yorkers this summer, Australians have been using ranked choice voting , which they call “ preferential voting ,” for more than 100 years to elect members to their House of Representatives . Advocates argue that ranked choice voting solves the problems of other voting methods, while detractors counter that it makes elections unnecessarily complicated . Commonly used voting systems In the U.S., plurality voting is the most commonly used system to elect people to serve in government. Using this method, whichever candidate has the most votes after a single round wins. Proponents of plurality voting point out that it is simple to understand and easy to implement. One problem arises , however, when there are several people running for office. In those cases, the vote could be split several ways, and the overall winner may not actually be very popular. For example, in 2002 , John Baldacci , a Democrat, defeated three other candidates to become governor of Maine after winning 47.2% of the vote. In 2006 , when facing four other candidates, he was reelected with only 38.1% of the vote. In 2010 , Paul LePage , a Republican, similarly ran against four other candidates, ultimately winning the governorship with 37.6% of the vote. In 2014 , when he ran against two other candidates, LePage was reelected with 48.2% of the vote. In other words, for more than a decade Maine had a governor whom the majority of voters had actually voted against. Both Democrats and Republicans pointed to back-to-back terms where an unpopular candidate from the other party was elected by winning only a narrow plurality. Some places that have experienced these sorts of results have chosen to adopt an electoral system aimed at ensuring that winners have majority support , such as runoff voting . Typically if a candidate gets more than half the votes in the first round, that candidate is declared the winner. If not, the two candidates with the most first-round votes face off in a second round of voting. This method, which can lead to several rounds of elections – particularly if it’s also used during the primaries – can be expensive for the government to organize , and it requires voters to take additional time off work and other duties, which can reduce voter turnout . Furthermore, in some parts of the U.S., runoff elections still carry racist overtones . Pros of ranked choice voting In hopes of ensuring that winners have majority support while minimizing the downsides of runoff voting, some places have experimented with ranked choice voting. For instance, in Maine in 2016, voters were sour from four gubernatorial elections in which the winner got less than a majority of the votes cast. This led to the adoption of ranked choice voting . The way this system typically works is that voters rank candidates in order of preference. A candidate can win outright by receiving the majority of first-preference votes. If that doesn’t happen, the candidate with the fewest first-preference votes is eliminated, and voters who picked that candidate as their first choice will have their next choice counted . If there still is not a winner, then the candidate with the next fewest votes is also eliminated. This process continues with candidates eliminated one by one until one candidate has obtained a majority. Proponents of ranked choice voting argue that, unlike plurality voting , voters can vote for their favorite candidate without worrying that their vote might inadvertently help an unpopular candidate get elected with less than a majority, as was the case in Maine with Baldacci and LePage. Although runoff voting helps to solve this problem by allowing for a potential second round, ranked choice voting takes less time and money because all votes are cast on one day on one ballot. After Maine adopted ranked choice voting, Democrat Janet Mills became the first gubernatorial candidate in the state to win a majority since 1998 and the first nonincumbent to do so since 1966 . Given that voters get to rank multiple candidates, another potential benefit of ranked choice voting is that it can encourage cooperation between candidates as they vie for voters’ second, or subsequent, preferences. In 2018, for instance, Mark Eves and Betsy Sweet, both of whom were competing in Maine’s Democratic primary for governor, urged their supporters to rank the other as their second choice . During the recent Democratic primary for mayor of New York, a similar alliance emerged between Andrew Yang and Kathryn Garcia . Not all candidates seek to form such arrangements. Eric Adams , a Black candidate who ultimately bested both Yang and Garcia, decried their electoral alliance as a form of racist voter suppression meant to prevent a person of color from winning. Historically, however, ranked choice voting has boosted the chances of nonwhite candidates . Notably, Maya Wiley , a Black woman who was also a candidate in the Democratic primary, disputed Adams’ claim, arguing that the Yang-Garcia “partnership is not racist, and we should not be using this term so loosely.” Disadvantages of the system Because ranked choice voting is a different system than most Americans are familiar with, one potential problem is confusion. Some critics incorrectly claim that ranked choice voting lets voters cast more than one ballot per person , when in fact each voter gets just one vote . In each round, each voter’s single vote is assigned – or, rather, transferred – to their top preference among candidates who can still win the election, as if a runoff round were to happen instantly. As a result, in some places, ranked choice voting is called “ single transferable vote ” or “ instant runoff voting .” It is true that voters who are unfamiliar with the details may have problems when voting. Ballots filled out incorrectly, such as by marking the same preference twice , can be considered invalid . Also, failing to rank all of the candidates may result in the ballot being ignored in later rounds of counting, depriving the voter of influence. But teaching people how the new system works can likely reduce such problems . In the runup to the primaries in New York City, officials spent US$15 million to teach voters about ranked choice voting. It’s a substantial amount of money, but the cost should drop – eventually, to zero – as more voters become familiar with the process over time. Written by Joshua Holzer , Assistant Professor of Political Science, Westminster College . MORE→
> 2 weeks
Sep 29, 2021

 
 
 
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Ranked-Choice Voting (RCV) and Proportional Representation: Building Multi-Party Democracy in the US
youtube.com
Video
0:28:13
YouTube
Propeace Report
BingVideo
Like, subscribe, and hit the notification bell to stay updated. Follow me on Twitter @ProPeace97 Even though a majority of Americans have wanted a third-party for over a decade, all-too-often they still vote for the "lesser of two-evils" because they're scared that a vote for third-party is either a waste or helps their greater evil. Ranked ... MORE→
> 2 weeks
Sep 29, 2021

 
 
 
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In Some Cities
sightline.org
Article
12497 chars
Sightline Institute
Kristin Eberhard
Newscatcher
These places use proportional voting for city council, where most voters “win” and have a voice on council.
In our last article , we showed how, if Portland used districts, many Portlanders wouldn’t get a candidate of choice on the city council. It doesn’t have to be that way. In several American localities, 80 or 90 percent of voters successfully elect someone they want onto the city council. Rather than using winner-take-all races, where up to half of voters “lose” and don’t have someone representing them in city government, these places use proportional voting, where most voters “win” and have a voice on council. For Americans who have not experienced proportional voting, the system might sound like magic. Most Americans think of elections like baseball : one team and all its fans win; the others lose. That’s also true of winner-take-all elections. And that’s how it works under Portland’s hundred-year-old system: candidates can choose which seat to run for and, therefore, which candidates they wish to compete against, giving fewer voters a voice. (For example, in May 2020, say a voter’s priority was a candidate with a strong environmental track record. For Position 2, they could vote for either Tera Hurst or Julia DeGraw. Neither won a seat.) Whichever candidate the voter chose, they (and everyone else who voted for the same candidate) ended up without a strong environmental voice on City Council. Our democracy doesn’t have to have so many losers. Proportional elections are more like ordering pizza; most people are able to get something they like. If Portland expanded the council to 10 members and used proportional ranked choice voting to elect five members every other year, voters would see all the candidates in one pool in November and be able to rank one or more. A voter could rank Tera Hurst first, Julia DeGraw second, and Seth Woolley (who ran for Position 4) third, and stand a good chance that one of them would win one of the five available seats. It’s not magic. It’s a better way to run elections to ensure that more voters win. Here are a few examples of how this actually works in other American cities. Eastpointe, Michigan Eastpointe, a suburb of Detroit, was the first municipality in Michigan to implement ranked-choice voting, either single-winner or multi-winner. While the city’s total population has held relatively stable around 32,000 in the last 20 years, it has transformed from mostly white residents to nearly 50 percent Black residents. Eastpointe went from five percent Black in 2000 to 30 percent Black in 2010 and then 48 percent Black in 2019 and today . In 2017 Eastpointe elected its first Black council member, Monique Owens , who is now mayor. But local representatives overall did not reflect the city’s rapidly changing demographics. That year, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) brought a Voting Rights Act lawsuit against the town, alleging that racially polarized voting plus plurality at-large elections for City Council (the same system that Portland currently uses) had prevented Black voters from electing candidates of their choice to City Council. While the DOJ has historically approved districting plans as acceptable fixes to lack of racial representation, Eastpointe leaders felt that a district-based voting system would move the city backwards in terms of racial integration—that rather than sending the message that Black citizens could live anywhere, districts would send the message that Black people would need to live in a “Black district” in order to get political representation. Instead, Eastpointe became the first place in the entire country to move to ranked-choice voting in response to the lawsuit. Filmmaker Grace McNally produced a short documentary about the situation leading up to the lawsuit and how candidates and voters responded to the new voting system. (Note: Despite its efforts, Eastpointe adopted a two-winner system that is not quite enough to get proportional results. For instance, in a partisan election with two open seats, voters would elect one Democrat and one Republican, even in situations when Republicans outnumber Democrats two-to-one (or vice versa), and voters affiliated with other parties would likely never elect a candidate outside their party. In general, a race needs at least three winners to get fair results, and five winners is ideal. With five winners, any group of voters making up about 18 percent of the population and voting together can get representation.) Eastpointe held its first multi-winner election in 2019. Selecting among four candidates running for two seats, 67 percent of voters had their first choice elected, and 86 percent of voters had either their first or second choice elected. Setting aside off-cycle voter turnout and whether there was a quality pool of candidates (both important issues but ones that an electoral method alone cannot fix), a system where almost 90 percent of voters get to see one of their top two candidates elected into office is something Portland should aspire to. Minneapolis, Minnesota For another example, let’s turn to a city more comparable in size to Portland: Minneapolis, population 430,000. Minneapolis started using ranked choice voting in its 2009 municipal elections and uses the multi-winner form to elect three at-large seats on its nine-member Park and Recreation Board. Since then, 80 percent or more of voters have seen at least one of their top choices elected. In the last two elections, 10 candidates ran for the three at-large positions. In 2013, 53 percent of voters saw their first choice elected, 74 percent of voters their first or second choices, and 80 percent of voters any of their top three choices. In 2017, 60 percent of voters saw their first choice elected, 77 percent of voters their first or second choices, and 84 percent of voters any of their three choices. If these candidates had been running in three separate winner-take-all seats in Portland’s system, there would have been three or more candidates in each race. In that system, winner-take-all races could have meant that half or more of voters would have had nothing to show for their effort to cast a ballot (see Portland’s recent mayoral race ). But because Minneapolis used proportional ranked voting, four out of five voters elected someone they wanted on the board. Cambridge, Massachusetts With somewhat similar city demographics, Cambridge has reliably elected more women and people of color than Portland has. Cambridge has the longest-running history of proportional ranked choice voting in the US. During the first half of the 20th century, nearly 30 cities across the country implemented some form of multi-winner proportional representation. In time, all except Cambridge repealed it, mostly in response to minority groups like Black people or Communists actually getting their preferred candidate onto a council. Cambridge stuck with the multi-winner ranked choice system despite several repeal attempts and has consistently elected Black candidates and women to council seats. Cambridge uses this proportional system to elect nine city councilors and six school committee members—all at-large from the entire city—in November of odd years. Voters consistently see a broad pool of candidates; between 1997 and 2017, an average of 21 candidates ran for the nine council seats in each election. And the vast majority of voters have routinely seen their favorite candidates elected to office. From 1997 to 2017, an average of 77 percent of voters had their first choice elected, 91 percent had their first or second choice elected, and a stunning 95 percent saw one of their top three candidates take office. Cambridge’s nine-winner race really shows off the potential of a multi-winner system. The threshold to win one of the nine seats is 11 percent of the citywide vote (see next section), which helps explain why Cambridge, which is 10 percent Black, consistently elects Black candidates into office. Under a single-winner system, whether at-large or districts, Black voters would not be able to elect a candidate of their choice in Cambridge unless they preferred the same candidate as voters of other races. Even with single-winner districts, a district would have to be more than half Black for that population to have a candidate of choice elected, which might not even be possible in Cambridge based on where the Black residents live across the city, and in such a district, the system would swamp the votes of Black residents in other districts. Voters only get one vote each Some people hear about ranking one, two, or more candidates and think that it means that some voters in Eastpointe and Minneapolis are getting two or more votes each. Not true. Each voter gets just one vote, but the ranked ballot allows officials to, in effect, conduct a primary, general, and runoff all at once, if needed. In other words, if enough candidates win outright after first-choice votes are counted, then the election is over, just like how many Portland elections end when one candidate gets more than 50 percent of the votes in the primary; however, if not enough candidates reach the winning threshold, the ballots automatically move into a runoff, where the less-popular candidates are removed and voters have a chance to choose between the remaining candidates. But ranking allows election officials to just look at the same ballots to see which of the remaining candidates each voter preferred, instead of running a costly second election and dragging out the campaign season. Ranking more than one candidate on one ballot instead of running more than one election where voters can only choose one candidate saves everyone time and money. If a voter only ranks one candidate and that candidate is eliminated, it’s like they only voted in the primary, their candidate got eliminate, and they didn’t like any of the candidates in the general so they sat it out. Keep Portland weird, but in a good way Some Portlanders are proud of our unique commissioner form of government. Others are fed up with it and seek an alternative, finding districts with winner-take-all elections to be the more “normal” system that most cities use. Instead of jumping from the pot into the fire, Portland could switch to a different—but proven—election method. Multi-winner proportional elections have a solid track record of giving more voters a say in who gets elected than the mere majority or plurality (less than half) of voters who have a say in the more common winner-take-all elections. Portland already uses winner-take-all elections and has experienced their limitations. Right now, Portland has the chance to become one of a handful of American cities using a method that reliably gives more voters a voice. MORE→
> 2 weeks
Sep 29, 2021

 
 
 
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Episode Two: Third Party Debate Exclusions, Ranked Choice Voting and Proportional Representation
youtube.com
Video
0:52:51
YouTube
Propeace Report
BingVideo
Episode Two of the ProPeace Report! Like, subscribe, and hit the notification bell to stay updated. Follow me on Twitter @ProPeace97 Topics: - Princess Blanding, Liberation Party candidate for Governor in Virginia, was ... MORE→
> 2 weeks
Sep 29, 2021

 
 
 
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Ann Arbor, vote yes on ranked-choice voting
michigandaily.com
Article
5970 chars
The Michigan Daily
Elizabeth Cook
BingNews
All Ann Arbor voters should vote on November 2, whether in person or by mail, to approve this proposal and take an important step towards meaningful electoral change.
This system garnered national attention this past summer when New York City used ranked-choice voting in their municipal elections , including the mayoral primary. Ranked-choice voting is used in many other places, including San Francisco and Minneapolis, as well as in the state of Maine for federal elections. Ann Arbor actually used ranked-choice voting briefly in the 1970s . Under ranked-choice voting, Ann Arbor elected its first Black mayor, Albert Wheeler. However, after only a year of using ranked-choice voting, Ann Arbor voters decided to scrap it and return to the traditional voting system that we see today. The repeal of ranked-choice voting came in a low turnout election, where only 27% of voters went to the polls. It’s time to bring ranked-choice voting back. Ranked-choice voting is beneficial because it promotes consensus candidates. Currently, in Ann Arbor, a candidate only needs a plurality of votes to win the election. Therefore, in elections with multiple candidates, it is possible for a candidate to win with far less than 50% of the vote. Having a candidate win despite the fact that a majority of voters chose another candidate means that the winner may not represent the views and wishes of a majority of their constituents. By design, ranked-choice voting promotes consensus candidates who have support from a wider variety of voters. If Ann Arbor voters approve the charter amendment, ranked-choice voting will not be immediately implemented. The proposal states that the change would go into place once ranked-choice voting is approved under state law. Currently, in Michigan, election law does not allow for ranked-choice voting. While it is disappointing that the implementation of ranked-choice voting wouldn’t be immediate, it is still critical for voters to vote yes on this proposal. Not only would it ensure that we have access to this superior system as early as possible, but by taking the first step to approve ranked-choice voting, Ann Arbor voters will send a strong message. Critics of ranked-choice voting will argue that the system is too confusing for the majority of voters and that the process of calculating the winner can be arduous. While the ranked-choice system is different from what most voters are used to, the system is fairly easy to navigate with proper voter education. In New York City, the board of elections promoted a robust voter education program to explain to voters how to cast their vote. While the process of calculating a winner may take time than voters are used to, that is a small price to pay for a more representative voting system. For many voters, especially students, local elections are not at the top of their minds. Unlike last year, where voting and the presidential election were constant topics on campus, there has been very little focus on the fact that there are elections in Michigan this year. However, just because there is less focus does not mean that these issues are any less important. That’s why all Ann Arbor voters should vote on Nov. 2, whether in person or by mail, to approve this proposal and take an important step towards meaningful electoral change. Isabelle Schindler is an Opinion Columnist and can be reached at ischind@umich.edu. MORE→
> 2 weeks
Sep 29, 2021

 
 
 
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Is Ranked-Choice Voting in Philly’s Future?
thephiladelphiacitizen.org
Article
14359 chars
The Philadelphia Citizen
Jon Geeting
Newscatcher
Councilmember Derek Green wants to bring ranked-choice voting here. It could help elect the people’s choice in a competitive 2023 race.
Our first-past-the-post voting system isn’t the best voting system available in cases where there are large candidate fields and only one possible winner, since somebody can win with just a plurality of the electorate, who the majority of voters don’t support. There’s a good argument that ranked-choice voting systems do a better job at this by ensuring the winner is somebody who has majority support, and they do this by making voters’ second-, third-, and fourth-choice rankings count for something. By letting people rank their candidate preferences in order, the voting system can take into account people’s second- and third-choice candidate preferences, and reward the candidates who are most acceptable to a majority of voters. This also helps to remove the “spoiler effect” problem under first-past-the-post elections in cases where there are multiple candidates with the same constituency. There is also some evidence that ranked-choice voting leads to more positive and constructive campaigning, as the candidates have some better incentives to be well-liked by their competitors’ fans, and be the number two or three candidate on a lot of other ballots. In cities and states with ranked-choice voting, it’s common to see candidates who are running for the same seat cross-endorse one another’s campaigns. In the most recent New York City election —the first one to use the ranked-choice system voters approved—mayoral candidate Andrew Yang endorsed fellow candidate Kathryn Garcia’s campaign , asking his supporters to rank Garcia No. 2 on their ballots (she didn’t endorse him back .) There’s no prohibition on voters choosing only one candidate like they do now, but it was notable in New York City that voters overwhelmingly used the new ranking system— 86 percent of voters overall, ranking on average about three candidates. That’s after the measure was approved by almost 74 percent of voters in a ballot referendum, so it’s evidently been very popular. In Philadelphia, state Senator Tony Williams had been the only elected official to date to comment on this or to suggest bringing ranked-choice here, so it was interesting to see Councilmember Derek Green starting a local push this week, introducing a resolution to hold hearings on the implications of a ranked-choice voting system in Philadelphia. The resolution was co-sponsored by Councilmembers Cindy Bass , Jamie Gauthier , Isaiah Thomas , and Allan Domb . City Council can’t change this by themselves without state authorizing legislation, but Senator Williams has prepared legislation ( SB 59 ) which would authorize such a system in Philadelphia, and it’s possible it could pick up steam with more vocal support from local elected officials. Anyone who wants to see this happen should make sure to call or email their councilmembers and ask them to co-sponsor Councilmember Green’s ranked-choice voting resolution, and then let their state senators know you want them to support SB 59 this fall. Jon Geeting is the director of engagement at Philadelphia 3.0 , a political action committee that supports efforts to reform and modernize City Hall. This is part of a series of articles running on both The Citizen and 3.0’s . MORE→
> 2 weeks
Sep 28, 2021

 
 
 
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Dear Decaturish – I support ranked choice voting
decaturish.com
Article
74 chars
Decaturish.com
BingNews
I’ve been a resident of Decatur and  DeKalb County for the last ten years.
> 2 weeks
Sep 28, 2021

 
 
 
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Philadelphia could be next to adopt ranked-choice voting
thefulcrum.us
Article
158 chars
The Fulcrum
Sara Swann
Newscatcher
The Philadelphia City Council passed a resolution to begin consideration of a switch to ranked elections.
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> 2 weeks
Sep 27, 2021

 
 
 
3.2%
How Ranked Choice Voting Could Change the Primary Game
harvardpolitics.com
Article
7050 chars
Harvard Political Review
Jacob Miller
BingNews
Ahead of 2024, instead of just asking which candidate offers winning policies, ask, which candidate does our voting system benefit?
That speculative newspaper lede reflects a world in which Republicans have embraced a ranked choice voting system. In reality, if Trump decides to mount a presidential run again in 2024, conventional wisdom dictates he could easily sweep the field. But RCV presents a pathway to a post-Trump GOP and would transform primary elections. RCV is a voting procedure where voters rank candidates in order of preference and an algorithm is used to eliminate candidates with low support, ultimately determining an election’s winner. Although different algorithms for aggregating preferences work differently, in general, RCV seeks to maximize utility among voters and crown the most palatable candidate the winner of an election. Already adopted in New York City for municipal elections, Maine and Alaska for statewide and presidential contests, and in some states’ primary caucuses, RCV has not seriously been considered for widespread national use in primaries, despite its appealing promise that it selects the optimal candidate as a winner. A recent AP-NORC poll found that 47% of Republicans believe Trump should retain “a lot” of control over the party’s future trajectory. By contrast, 34% of respondents said the former president should wield “a little” influence, while 18% said “none at all.” Similarly, an NBC News poll found 44% of Republicans professed greater loyalty to Trump than their party. These results illustrate a party still dedicated to its former leader, yet not staunchly committed to its past. If RCV were employed to select delegates for the 2024 Republican National Convention, perhaps affording delegates to the top few candidates proportional to their level of support after several rounds of eliminating unpopular candidates or by assigning scores to candidates based on how they are ranked and apportioning delegates in proportion to those scores, the primary would become more competitive. While Trump would likely be ranked at the top of the ballot among the 47% of respondents in the AP-NORC poll who championed a Trump-influenced GOP, he would be hurt by the 18% of respondents disillusioned with the former President’s divisive behavior, who presumably might rank Trump as their least-favorite contender. Depending on the algorithm used to assign delegates and how Republicans who are mildly critical of Trump voted, Trump could suffer defeat. RCV-triggered uncertainty in the 2024 Republican primary would create ripple effects altering the field of candidates. Savvy presidential hopefuls could declare alliances with Trump — like the coalitions seen in NYC’s mayoral primary — and offer a brand of Trumpism minus Trump’s most alienating attributes. These candidates would enjoy wider appeal than Trump’s base, dramatically changing the race. Evidence exists that RCV could have changed the 2020 Democratic presidential primary too. According to an analysis by FiveThirtyEight in January 2020, Sen. Elizabeth Warren was the least disliked candidate among primary voters with an opinion of the candidate, which implies she could have fared well if electoral results were determined using a ranked choice method. To be fair, this analysis finds Warren was also the most popular candidate among voters with an opinion of the candidate, yet she did not win any state primary elections or caucuses with traditional first-past-the-post voting methods. The most intriguing potential effect of RCV is that it frees voters from arbitrary constraints. Too often, voters feel confined to popular candidates, not wanting to waste their ticket on a doomed campaign, breathlessly hoping that a shift in public opinion will bring their favored candidate into the top-tier of contenders; courageous voters who ditch popular opinion to support their favorite candidate often find their votes wasted and their opinions discounted. RCV remedies this conundrum and allows voters to rank their favorite candidate number one, without wasting a vote on a long-shot campaign. In this sense, RCV could change the primary game from a contest where candidates steadily accumulate momentum and drive their rivals out of competition, to a fluid, dynamic race where contenders are constantly appealing for votes, and a longshot campaign can mount a comeback at any moment. It would also shift power away from voters in states with early primaries — who often anoint the contest’s frontrunners — to a more egalitarian distribution of voting power among all primary voters, addressing criticisms of the current process, which affords Iowans and New Hampshire voters unreasonable control over the nomination ordeal. Under the current system, voters do not want to gamble their vote on an unpopular campaign and feel beholden to the already-chosen top candidates; RCV would remove the risks of voting for individuals who lack support because voters rank their top several options. RCV — still an unfamiliar concept to many voters — is slowly gaining traction nationally, and could significantly alter American politics. Different voting systems can select different nominees, and maintaining the status quo plurality election procedure is an equally loud statement as transitioning to a ranked choice method. Ahead of 2024, instead of just asking which candidate offers winning policies, ask, which candidate does our voting system benefit? MORE→
3 weeks
Sep 26, 2021

 
 
 
0%
FORUM 1: Is there any way to totally eliminate partisan gerrymandering? Adopt ranked-choice voting
fredericksburg.com
Article
1397 chars
Fredericksburg.com
Rob Richie And David Daley
BingNews
Virginia Congressman Don Beyer offers a comprehensive solution to the gerrymandering problem: the Fair Representation Act. It would replace our winner-take-all district system with larger districts represented by multiple representatives MORE→
Take Massachusetts. Donald Trump won 32 percent of the vote there, and the Republican governor is one of the nation’s most popular. You might assume that Republicans have three of the state’s nine congressional seats. Yet Massachusetts voters have not sent a single Republican to the House since 1994. Under the Fair Representation Act, Massachusetts would have three districts with three members, and Republicans would likely elect one seat in each. Fair representation also would be true for underrepresented Democrats in Tennessee, Kentucky, Kansas and Oklahoma—all of whom are now in danger of being gerrymandered into extinction. Every state would have the same number of representatives. We’d simply elect them in a way that creates a closer replica of the people, as modeled in many local elections. Some states have tried to address gerrymandering with commissions. But they can prove vulnerable to partisan manipulation, and wouldn’t have much effect in states like Massachusetts or Tennessee where political geography makes it impossible to draw competitive single-member districts that accurately reflect the people. MORE→
3 weeks
Sep 26, 2021

 
 
 
0.2%
Counterpoint | Scrap gerrymandering; it’s time to adopt ranked choice
msn.com
Article
5615 chars
MSN
BingNews
Partisan gerrymandering of legislative districts has been a uniquely American problem since our founding: As long as we’ve had politicians, they’ve exploited the power to pick their own voters before the voters get to pick them. It’s wrong, and it’s getting worse. Politicians have fancier tools and greater incentives to draw maps that advantage their side, with only five House seats separating Democrats and Republicans. More than ever,... MORE→
Partisan gerrymandering of legislative districts has been a uniquely American problem since our founding: As long as we’ve had politicians, they’ve exploited the power to pick their own voters before the voters get to pick them.© Provided by Pittsburgh Post-GazetteIt’s wrong, and it’s getting worse. Politicians have fancier tools and greater incentives to draw maps that advantage their side, with only five House seats separating Democrats and Republicans. More than ever, gerrymanders — crafted with sophisticated technology, powerful software, and terabytes of personal and political data — threaten the powerful ideals at the heart of our Founders’ vision: Consent of the governed.Citizens in a representative democracy must have the power to change their leaders when they so desire. But after the 2018 midterms, 59 million Americans lived in a state where a legislative chamber was controlled by a party that lost the popular vote.Our reform priorities are skewed. We must prevent voter fraud, but it’s as rare as being struck by lightning. Meanwhile, twisted maps alter politics nearly everywhere.As the 2021 redistricting cycle begins, and politicians lock themselves in back rooms in order to lock voters out of power for another decade, it’s clear that something must be done. But what solution will truly work — and last?John Adams said that legislatures ought to be “in miniature, an exact portrait of the people at large. It should think, feel, reason and act like them.” That’s a tough claim to make about our polarized Congress: A recent Economist poll found that Congress has a 17% approval rating.Partisan redistricting is a problem, but the root cause is districting itself. Right now, we elect 435 members of Congress from 435 single-member districts. The shape of each district matters so much because most of the nation tilts distinctively red or blue. The best way to flip a seat is to control redistricting, not change voters’ minds.Virginia congressman Don Beyer offers a comprehensive solution: the Fair Representation Act. It would replace our winner-take-all district system — one formalized with an act of Congress only 54 years ago — with a fair approach for all states: Larger districts represented by multiple representatives elected proportionally with ranked-choice voting.This would upend the power of gerrymandering. With districts of up to five fairly elected representatives, it would hardly matter where the lines went. All of the things people hate about gerrymandering — few competitive districts, greater partisan rigidity when safe seats move all the action to low-turnout party primaries, skewed outcomes — would go away.Better still, the results would be fairer. Take Massachusetts. Donald Trump won 32% of the vote there, and the Republican governor is one of the nation’s most popular. You might assume that Republicans have three of the state’s nine congressional seats. Yet Massachusetts voters have not sent a single Republican to the House since 1994.Under the Fair Representation Act, Massachusetts would have three districts with three members, and Republicans would likely elect one seat in each. Fair representation also would be true for underrepresented Democrats in Tennessee, Kentucky, Kansas and Oklahoma — all of whom are now in danger of being gerrymandered into extinction through gerrymandering.Every state would have the same number of representatives. We’d simply elect them in a way that creates a closer replica of the people, as modeled in many local elections.Some states have tried to address gerrymandering with commissions. But they can prove vulnerable to partisan manipulation, and wouldn’t have much effect in states like Massachusetts or Tennessee where political geography makes it impossible to draw competitive single-member districts that accurately reflect the people.The U.S. Constitution may not dictate proportionality, but Americans feel it deeply: We know that 60% of the vote shouldn’t equate to 100% of the seats. Winner-takes-all districts are the reason Congress doesn’t mirror the people or govern according to their desires.A proportionally elected House would not only fulfill a deeply American vision of equality, but help parties represent their “big tents,” incentivize cooperation, and give everyone a voice without hijacking majority rule. Independents would be able to hold the major parties accountable without splitting the vote. Minority voting rights would be reliably protected, and women would gain new opportunities to level the playing field. Everyone would have the voice they win at the polls, no less and no more.Incentivizing our politicians this way would be the most meaningful change we could make to address gerrymandering, and also to make a broken Congress function again.Rob Richie is president and CEO of FairVote, a nonpartisan organization seeking better elections. David Daley is senior fellow at FairVote and author of “Unrigged: How Americans Are Battling Back to Save Democracy.” They wrote this for InsideSources.com. MORE→
3 weeks
Sep 26, 2021

 
 
 
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Philadelphia to consider ranked-choice voting in city elections
phillyvoice.com
Article
2199 chars
phillyvoice.com
BingNews
Philadelphia City Council announced it will consider a ranked-choice voting system in the city.
Philadelphia City Council announced it will consider a ranked-choice voting system in the city. A ranked-voting system would allow voters to select candidates in order of preference — like first choice, second choice, third choice — rather than just choosing their top candidate. Council passed a resolution Friday to start considering the voting system through hearings. New York City recently imposed the voting system for its June primary election, making it the largest stage to test the new format that advocates say is a better system. Those in support of the ranked-voting system believe ranking the choices is fairer and more accurately reflects what voters want, NPR reported. If a candidate receives more than 50% of the first-ranked votes, then the election is over and that candidate wins. If no one earns 50% of the first-choice vote, then the lowest-scoring candidate is removed from the pool. Voters that chose the lowest-scoring candidate will have their second choice added to the tally. This reallocation process continues until someone reaches more than 50% of the vote. Sponsor of the resolution Derek Greene told KYW that he doesn't have a position on the system yet, but said any effort to increase voter turnout should be considered. There are nearly 20 jurisdictions across the country that employ the system, and just two states — Maine and Alaska— used it for both statewide and presidential elections. Advocates argue that the results mean the winner gets a majority of the vote overall, it filters out extreme and polarizing candidates, it can be more cost-effective and cause less negative campaigning, among other things. Opponents say the system is complicated and can lead to errors, is less democratic, and lots of people don't fill out all the choices. MORE→
> 3 weeks
Sep 25, 2021

 
 
 
0%
Montgomery County Democratic Party Committee Meeting: 23 Sept 2021
youtube.com
Video
1:12:49
YouTube
Electesrati
BingVideo
The party has 2 meetings, the "executive committee" made up of "ward leaders" and appointed hacks- then the "Central Committee" which is made up of elected and appointed precinct captains. There are 360 precincts. 40 people show up. And they have the audacity to vote on endorsements- as if it means anything. If you don't see the speaker- it's ... MORE→
> 3 weeks
Sep 25, 2021

 
 
 
0.2%
Counterpoint: Scrap gerrymandering, adopt ranked choice
winonadailynews.com
Article
5430 chars
Winona Daily News
Rob Richie And David Daley Insidesources.Com
BingNews
Partisan gerrymandering of legislative districts has been a uniquely American problem since our founding: As long as we’ve had politicians, they’ve exploited the power to pick their own voters before
Partisan gerrymandering of legislative districts has been a uniquely American problem since our founding: As long as we’ve had politicians, they’ve exploited the power to pick their own voters before the voters get to pick them. It’s wrong, and it’s getting worse. Politicians have fancier tools and greater incentives to draw maps that advantage their side, with only five House seats separating Democrats and Republicans. More than ever, gerrymanders — crafted with sophisticated technology, powerful software, and terabytes of personal and political data — threaten the powerful ideals at the heart of our founders’ vision: Consent of the governed. Citizens in a representative democracy must have the power to change their leaders when they so desire. But after the 2018 midterms, 59 million Americans lived in a state where a legislative chamber was controlled by a party that lost the popular vote. Our reform priorities are skewed. We must prevent voter fraud, but it’s as rare as being struck by lightning. Meanwhile, twisted maps alter politics nearly everywhere. As the 2021 redistricting cycle begins, and politicians lock themselves in back rooms in order to lock voters out of power for another decade, it’s clear that something must be done. But what solution will truly work — and last? John Adams said that legislatures ought to be “in miniature, an exact portrait of the people at large. It should think, feel, reason and act like them.” That’s a tough claim to make about our polarized Congress: A recent Economist poll found that Congress has a 17 percent approval rating. Partisan redistricting is a problem, but the root cause is districting itself. Right now, we elect 435 members of Congress from 435 single-member districts. The shape of each district matters so much because most of the nation tilts distinctively red or blue. The best way to flip a seat is to control redistricting, not change voters’ minds. Virginia congressman Don Beyer offers a comprehensive solution: the Fair Representation Act. It would replace our winner-take-all district system — one formalized with an act of Congress only 54 years ago — with a fair approach for all states: Larger districts represented by multiple representatives elected proportionally with ranked-choice voting. This would upend the power of gerrymandering. With districts of up to five fairly elected representatives, it would hardly matter where the lines went. All of the things people hate about gerrymandering — few competitive districts, greater partisan rigidity when safe seats move all the action to low-turnout party primaries, skewed outcomes — would go away. Better still, the results would be fairer. Take Massachusetts. Donald Trump won 32 percent of the vote there, and the Republican governor is one of the nation’s most popular. You might assume that Republicans have three of the state’s nine congressional seats. Yet Massachusetts voters have not sent a single Republican to the House since 1994. Under the Fair Representation Act, Massachusetts would have three districts with three members, and Republicans would likely elect one seat in each. Fair representation also would be true for underrepresented Democrats in Tennessee, Kentucky, Kansas and Oklahoma — all of whom are now in danger of being gerrymandered into extinction through gerrymandering. Every state would have the same number of representatives. We’d simply elect them in a way that creates a closer replica of the people, as modeled in many local elections. Some states have tried to address gerrymandering with commissions. But they can prove vulnerable to partisan manipulation, and wouldn’t have much effect in states like Massachusetts or Tennessee where political geography makes it impossible to draw competitive single-member districts that accurately reflect the people. The U.S. Constitution may not dictate proportionality, but Americans feel it deeply: We know that 60 percent of the vote shouldn’t equate to 100 percent of the seats. Winner-takes-all districts are the reason Congress doesn’t mirror the people or govern according to their desires. A proportionally elected House would not only fulfill a deeply American vision of equality, but help parties represent their “big tents,” incentivize cooperation, and give everyone a voice without hijacking majority rule. Independents would be able to hold the major parties accountable without splitting the vote. Minority voting rights would be reliably protected, and women would gain new opportunities to level the playing field. Everyone would have the voice they win at the polls, no less and no more. Incentivizing our politicians this way would be the most meaningful change we could make to address gerrymandering, and also to make a broken Congress function again. Rob Richie is president and CEO of FairVote, a nonpartisan organization seeking better elections. David Daley is senior fellow at FairVote and author of “Unrigged: How Americans Are Battling Back to Save Democracy.” They wrote this for InsideSources.com . MORE→
> 3 weeks
Sep 25, 2021

 
 
 
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Sarasota City Commission may pause plan for advancing ranked-choice voting
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7457 chars
MSN
BingNews
Sarasota leaders agreed to seek legal clarification on whether ranked-choice voting is allowed under Florida law.
The Sarasota City Commission is pausing its plan to seek a court judgment on ranked-choice voting© Archive photSarasota City HalLast Monday, the city decided that it would file a legal action to find out whether it can legally hold an election using ranked-choice votingHowever, at Tuesday's commission meeting, commissioner Erik Arroyo said that he would bring the subject back to a future meeting so the board could further discuss itArroyo has become concerned about some elements of the proposal. He doesn't know how much ranked-choice voting would affect the cost of city elections, and he's worried that switching to the new voting system could possibly lower voter turnoutArroyo said that the commission will consider a motion in October to halt its plan to seek a court judgment. This motion, if passed, will pause the legal efforts until the commission has the chance to have an in-depth discussion on ranked-choice voting. Arroyo expects that the discussion will occur at a November meetingThe discussion will appear on the agenda for that meeting as a motion to revoke the commission's decision to seek a court judgment on ranked-choice voting. However, Arroyo says the commission doesn't need to make this motion or vote on it, if it chooses not toCity Attorney Robert Fournier said that he won't proceed with his work on the legal action until he knows that three commissioners are on board with itHowever, Fournier isn't writing lawsuit himself. Outside legal counsel will write it, and Fournier will review it before it's filed. The outside counsel will be funded by an organization called Rank My Vote Florida. When asked on Thursday if Rank My Vote Florida would keep working on the case, the organization's legal counsel said that he still needed to talk with Fournier about the matter and that his organization hasn't had time yet to consider what its legal strategwill be"I think it's premature to discuss what we're going to do with respect to any potential action at this time," said David Angel, the legal counselThe commission's original decisioAfter Monday's commission meeting, it appeared that the commission would seek a declaration that the Florida Election Code and the state’s Constitution allow municipal elections to be conducted using ranked-choice voting. The Sarasota City Commission voted 4-1 that day to direct Fournier to work with outside legal counsel on this effortFournier said a declaratory judgment is a way to decide a dispute between two parties about their rights and obligations. The city of Sarasota is wondering what its rights are regarding ranked-choice electionsICYMICity of Sarasota's budget includes money to add Wi-Fi to four parkIn other newsSarasota City Commission says yes to accessory dwelling unitUnder this plan, the city would file a legal action against either Florida's Department of State, the department's Division of Elections or officials within those entities, according to AngelSarasota voters approved ranked-choice voting in a 2007 referendum, but, at the time, the county’s supervisor of elections did not have the proper voting system to handle it. However, the county switched to a new voting system in 2015, and Elections Supervisor Ron Turner said it is his understanding that the current hardware could potentially handle ranked-choice ballotsBut, Turner said, there is no software certified in the state of Florida that can tabulate a ranked-choice electionFor these elections to occur, the state would have to certify software that allows for ranked-choice voting, which it has not seemed willing to do. At an Argus Foundation event in 2019, Secretary of State Laurel Lee said that state law doesn’t allow ranked-choice voting© Mary Altaffer, AAn election worker goes over a ranked choice voting explanation card with a voter before she casts her vote during early voting in the primary election, Monday, June 14, 2021, at the Church of St. Anthony of Padua in the Soho neighborhood of New YorkSupporters of ranked-choice voting disagree with Lee’s assessment, so they have encouraged the city of Sarasota to ask a state court to determine whether the practice is legalIf a state court determines that ranked-choice voting in municipalities is legal, that would pave the way for other cities across Florida to implement the practice as well. Clearwater, for example, is considering holding a ranked-choice voting referendum in 2022Monday’s City Commission meetinAngel, of Rank My Vote Florida, gave a presentation on the practice at Monday’s City Commission meeting. He said ranked-choice voting allows citizens to vote for their true preference. Currently, voters sometimes do not vote for their preferred candidate because they worry that the candidate has a low chance of winning. But in ranked-choice voting, a voter can make their preferred candidate their first choice and make a candidate who they think is more likely to win their second choiceAngel said the practice ensures that the winner of an election has achieved a consensus. It also eliminates a need for runoffsAngel said that Rank My Vote Florida will pay for the external legal counsel that will work with the city on the civil actionAhead of the commission’s vote on Monday, commissioner Jen Ahearn-Koch noted that the city’s voters have already overwhelmingly approved ranked-choice voting. The system was approved by 77.6% of Sarasota voters in 2007. Ahearn-Koch also said that the voting system is in the city’s charter“It’s our responsibility as elected officials to exercise the voice of the community,” she said, “and this is our job.Mayor Hagen Brody was the only commissioner who voted against seeking a declaratory judgment. He said he is concerned the new voting process could affect voter participation among low-income communities“I haven’t been convinced that this is the best thing for our city, to tell you the truth,” he said at the meetingMany people spoke at the public comment section of the discussion, including citizens from other parts of Florida who support rank-choice voting, like the mayor of Clearwater. Residents of Sarasota also contributed to the discussion, including Larry Silvermintz, president of the Alta Vista Neighborhood Association, who supports ranked-choice voting. He said that that the voters’ decision in 2007 does not expire even though it took place a while ago“What I’m in favor of is heeding the will of the voters,” he saidAnne Snabes covers city and county government for the Herald-Tribune. You can contact her at asnabes@gannett.com or (941) 228-3321 and follow her on Twitter at @a_snabesThis article originally appeared on Sarasota Herald-Tribune: Sarasota City Commission may pause plan for advancing ranked-choice votin MORE→
> 3 weeks
Sep 24, 2021

 
 
 
0.4%
Ranked choice, multimember districts blunts gerrymandering
phys.org
Article
6766 chars
phys.org
Tom Fleischman
BingNews
New research from the College of Engineering lays out in detail why ranked-choice voting, combined with multi-member legislative districts, promotes fair representation, particularly when it comes to blunting gerrymandering—the party in power's ability to map a district to its political advantage. MORE→
New research from the College of Engineering lays out in detail why ranked-choice voting, combined with multi-member legislative districts, promotes fair representation, particularly when it comes to blunting gerrymandering—the party in power's ability to map a district to its political advantage. The work comes as the results of the 2020 U.S. Census, released Aug. 12, will be used to reapportion legislative districts across the nation, including in New York, one of a handful of states that lost a seat in the House of Representatives due to population drop. "It's not a coincidence that we're particularly focused on this, given the completion of the census," said David Shmoys, the Laibe/Acheson Professor of Business Management and Leadership Studies in the College of Engineering's School of Operations Research and Information Engineering (ORIE). "Now is the time that there's the most attention paid to what's going right and what's going wrong. For the handful of states that have independent [election] commissions, if we can get their ear and move forward, that would also be fantastic because we do think we have tools that would be of value." Shmoys is co-author of "Combatting Gerrymandering with Social Choice: The Design of Multi-Member Districts," published on arXiv this month. Co-author Nikhil Garg, assistant professor at ORIE and at the Jacobs Technion-Cornell Institute at Cornell Tech, will present the research at the annual meeting of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences, Oct. 24–27 in Anaheim, California. Other co-authors include Wes Gurnee '20, an operations research doctoral student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and David Rothschild, an economist at Microsoft Research. The researchers found that, in terms of both fairness and preserving how geographically close residents are to their representatives, the best option is three-member legislative districts in which voters rank their choices and the candidate with the most first-place votes is the winner; surplus votes are transferred to voters' next preferences. This work is an extension of the 2020 "fairmandering" research led by Gurnee, in which he developed a new mathematical method to try to inject fairness into the fraught process of political redistricting. The researchers devised a way to efficiently incorporate ranked-choice voting—which Garg studied in his doctoral dissertation—into the method. Among other things, the research showed that it takes more than good intentions to create a fair, representative (politically and geographically) district. Ranked-choice voting, just used in the New York City mayoral primaries, reallocates votes from non-viable to viable candidates. In a multi-member district, it also reduces the impact of each voter after a candidate they support has been declared a winner. The new study sheds light on potential outcomes of the Fair Representation Act, first introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2017 and reintroduced twice since. The Democrat-sponsored legislation would establish, among other things, ranked-choice voting in all House races and multi-member congressional districts. "Our goal is to put a tool in the hands of policymakers and say, 'Here is a large collection of hypothetical district maps and voting rules; these are the inherent tradeoffs in different dimensions of representation forced by geography and the election rules,'" Gurnee said. "They can use this information as the basis for a regionally aware policy solution." The most common current method for electing representatives at all levels of government is the winner-take-all, single-member district: For example, New York state has 27 congressional districts, each represented by a single House member. "Our work shows that many of the challenges with redistricting—from 'natural' geographic imbalances to partisan gerrymandering—stems from the winner-takes-all nature of our districts, and that even small multi-member districts would address them," Garg said, noting that in certain instances it's nearly impossible to come up with proportionate, politically balanced maps with single-member districts. In Massachusetts, for example, the state is not only strongly Democratic but "it's relatively, consistently, overwhelmingly Democratic throughout the whole state," Shmoys said. New York, on the other hand, is seen as a blue state but has Republican strongholds both upstate and downstate. Multimember districts are rare but not unheard of. In 1962 a total of 41 state legislatures had them; today, 10 states still elect representatives for at least one state governmental chamber in such a manner. Arizona, for example, is divided into 30 legislative districts, with each electing one senator and two representatives. The authors noted that winner-take-all voting in multimember districts—like those currently in place in Arizona and other states with multimember districts—enable the most egregious gerrymandering in nearly all district sizes "and should be avoided," they wrote. The bottom line: A multimember district , with some form of ranked-choice voting, severely limits the gerrymanderers' ability to draw themselves into the Election Day winner's circle. "Once you go to the right social-choice function, and in compact, three-member districts, the ability to create a partisan advantage is far more limited," Shmoys said. "We're handicapping the gerrymanderers." More information: Nikhil Garg, Wes Gurnee, David Rothschild, David Shmoys, Combatting Gerrymandering with Social Choice: the Design of Multi-member Districts. arXiv:2107.07083v2 [cs.GT], arxiv.org/abs/2107.07083 Provided by Cornell University Citation : Ranked choice, multimember districts blunts gerrymandering (2021, September 24) retrieved 24 September 2021 from https://phys.org/news/2021-09-choice-multimember-districts-blunts-gerrymandering.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. MORE→
> 3 weeks
Sep 24, 2021

 
 
 
0.2%
Philadelphia to explore ranked-choice voting
msn.com
Article
1804 chars
MSN
KYW Newsradio
BingNews
The Philadelphia City Council passed a resolution to hold hearings on the system in which voters select candidates in order of preference.
Council passed a resolution to hold hearings on the system, in which voters select candidates in order of preference: First choice, second choice, third choice and so on.Sponsor Derek Greene said he doesn’t have a position on the system, but thinks it’s worth exploring."This allows us to have a conversation, see how New York got the process done, how other cities are doing ranked choice voting," said Greene."Even in our presidential election in 2016 and 2020, we didn’t have the turnout we should have had in Philadelphia, so any way to create additional energy in voting, I think that’s something we should look at. MORE→
> 3 weeks
Sep 24, 2021

 
 
 
0.2%
Once At Odds, Paul LePage And Susan Collins Find Reciprocity
mainepublic.org
Article
14928 chars
Maine Public
@Stevemistler
BingNews
In this week’s newsletter: Tracing the evolution of the Collins-LePage alliance; Collins won’t back abortion rights bill; a potential third party candidate in the gubernatorial race; ranked-choice backers give foreign electioneering ban an early boost. MORE→
Once At Odds, Paul LePage And Susan Collins Find Reciprocit Maine Public | By Steve MistlePublished September 24, 2021 at 11:43 AM EDT In this week’s newsletter: Tracing the evolution of the Collins-LePage alliance; Collins won’t back abortion rights bill; a potential third party candidate in the gubernatorial race; ranked-choice backers give foreign electioneering ban an early boost The words “Susan Collins” had barely left the emcee’s mouth before the boos and jeers started “Traitor!” some hissed “Democrat!” others shouted The sound engineer quickly cut the stage microphone to stop the crowd noise from bleeding into the Augusta Civic Center audio system and potentially drown out what was billed as a special endorsement of former Gov. Paul LePage’s third gubernatorial bi “As Maine recovers from the pandemic, Paul is the best candidate to grow our economy again,” Collins said during the minutelong pre-recorded video at LePage’s campaign launch rally Wednesday. “Paul is a job creator. That’s his background. He’s done it before and he will do it again. It was an oddly dissonant scene — Collins’ cheerful tone and the ranckled hecklers. So was the reaction as the endorsement news spread among liberal Twitter users, many of whom had long ago declared Collins a lost cause because, as they saw it, she had repeatedly failed to stand up to former President Donald Trump “It’s hard to describe how utterly awful this is,”ed Norman Ornsteiof the American Enterprise Institute “Susan Collins reminds us she is hardly a moderate,” declared a headline in New York Magazin The reaction makes some sense to anyone who has casually followed the careers of Maine’s top two Republican heavyweights. After all, Collins’ career is defined by her moderate brand. LePage, whose bellicosity during his two terms as governor made him a self-described prototype for the Donald Trump presidency, is something else entirely But Collins’ endorsement of LePage — who once declared Collins’ career “done in Maine” after she announced in 2016 she wouldn’t vote for Trump — shouldn’t have been a shock Not only did Collins telegraph her LePage endorsement to the Bangor Daily News in June, she’s worked on his behalf before. Twice actually “I very much believe in the big tent philosophy of the Republican Party,” she said during a 2014 speech in Bangor that was billed as a Republican unity event to boost her and LePage’s reelection bids. “There’s room for differing views. Of course, LePage hasn’t always been as accommodating of Collins’ way of doing things “I am not a Susan Collins fan. That’s not the kind of Republican I am,” LePage told Portland radio station WGAN in 2016, shortly after Collins announced she would not endorse Trump Even before Trump, the tension between LePage and Collins simmered, mostly in private Then-Gov. LePage stewed in 2013 when he failed to convincCollins to lobby GOP lawmakers to defeat Medicaid expansion in the Legislature Irritation among LePage’s team intensified between 2015 and 2017, when the governor increasingly clashed with state Senate Republicans — many advised by former Collins’ staffers — over state tax and budget issues. At one point, LePage’s team, working outside of his administration, deployed robocalls in the GOP senators’ districts, targeting them the same way he would Democrats and asserting that the two sides were working together and against him The conflict between the two continued to escalate early in the Trump presidency. In 2017, the Trump administration called in LePage to help convince Collins to support a GOP repeal of the Affordable Care Act. It didn’t work. Lance Dutson, a former Collins campaign staffer, then used a blog hosted by the Bangor Daily News to explaithe folly of LePage even trying Around the same time, reports surfaced of LePage telling supporters to unite againsa prospective 2018 gubernatorial bid by Collins Collins ultimately decided against running for governor and instead sought a fifth term in the U.S. Senate At the time, the spat between Collins and LePage seemed like a microcosm of the larger battle between waning establishment Republicans and the assurgent pro-Trump faction And maybe it was But the landscape changed in 2020. Collins, facing an all out blitz by Democrats to derail her reelection, saw her once lofty popularity dip as pro- and anti-Trump forces routinely evicerated her perceived lack of willingness to support or oppose him Then LePage, Trump’s Maine campaign chairman, announced he was endorsing her, a move that arguably helped shore up Collins’ right flank. She convincingly defeateDemocratic challenger Sara Gideon, clobbering her in the 2nd Congressional District and holding her down in Democratic strongholds with the help of split-ticket voters However, it wasn’t long before Collins was in trouble again with the pro-LePage, pro-Trump faction. Collins’ vote to convict Trump on an impeachment article that charged him with stoking the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol prompted a censure movement among Maine GOP activists who were already exiling noncompliant Republican LePage, who could have easily spurred the censure movement with a single tweet or statement, was oddly silent — at least publicly Collins later beat the late-March censure vote by a 2-to-1 margin A few months later, LePage’s allies intensified the chatter about his bid for a third term. His supporters pitched a kinder, gentler LePage — “LePage 2.0” — to the BDN. The report included a statement from Collins’ spokeswoman saying that if LePage ran again, the senator would support him LePage had backed Collins when she needed him. Now, with a rebranding effort underway to convince independent Maine voters that a third LePage term won’t look like the previous two, he apparently needs her Whether his diehard supporters like it or not Collins won’t back abortion rights bil As if Collins wasn’t already sufficiently riling Democrats This week she announced that she won’t support a bill designed to beat back state-led attempts to severely limit abortion by essentially guaranteeing rights to the procedure regardless of state law The proposal, the Women’s Health Protection Act, is the Democrats’ response to recent state laws passed in Texas and Mississippi that would drastically limit access to the procedure But Collins, who identifies as pro-choice, says the bill goes too far and potentially strips states of their rights to regulate abortion access “I support codifying Roe (vs. Wade),” Collins told the Los Angeles Times. “Unfortunately, the bill that the House has drafted goes way beyond that. Collins’ opposition has further enflamed abortion rights advocates who are already angry at her votes to confirm conservative judges who could undermine Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1972 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that established a constitutional right to abortion Collins’ opposition to the bill isn’t its only impediment to passage. Two Democrats, Sens. Bob Casey, of Pennsylvania, and Joe Manchin, of West Virginia, are also against the legislation, which means its defeat in the evenly divided Senate is all but certain without the support of Republicans Third-party candidate Former state Sen. Tom Saviello, of Wilton, continued Wednesday to tease a potential gubernatorial bid as an independent Saviello, a former Democrat who more recently served as a Republican, is part of the campaign to derail the Central Maine Power transmission corridor via Question 1 this November Speculation about his candidacy followed LePage’s formal candidacy declaration in July, but Saviello made no commitment to run On Wednesday he responded to LePage’s kickoff with a statement on Facebook that criticized the former governor and Democratic Maine Gov. Janet Mills for backing the corridor “Tonight Paul LePage highlighted the importance of our natural resources, but he ushered the wildly unpopular CMP Corridor through without seeking anything in return for the people of Maine, and when he retired from office, he joined CMP's lobbying team,” Saviello wrote. “Governor Mills negotiated a deal worth pennies to Mainers and billions to foreign corporations. Maine currently has two candidates who have always toed the line for CMP. We deserve a candidate who puts the interests of Mainers first. It’s unclear how Saviello’s potential entry in the race could affect the Mills-LePage matchup, but it’s certainly going to create angst among Democrats, who continue to fear that a split in the center-left vote could land LePage a third term As an issue, the corridor is uniquely nonpartisan. Recent polls show that Democrats, Republicans and independents continue to disapprove of it, but it’s dicey to assume that voters would back Saviello on that basis alone Saviello is well-known in his former district, as well as the State House, but he would need to elevate his profile in a statewide contest. Additionally, he isn’t the onlanti-corridor voice out there. Republican state Sen. Rick Bennett, of Oxford, has garnered a lot more media attention for his pithy critiques of the corridor, CMP and the Maine State Chamber of Commerce He has said repeatedly that he has no intention of running for governor Ranked-choice backers jumpstart foreign electioneering ba The campaign seeking to ban electioneering by foreign governments in Maine ballot initiatives is getting early support from donors who backed the 2016 ranked-choice voting referendum and other election reform advocates The ballot question committee Protect Maine Elections is working to get the measure on the 2022 ballot, and so far, it's getting significant financial support from John and Mary Palmer, who also gave thousands of dollars to the ranked-choice voting campaign The Palmers, who live in Maine, gave Protect Maine Elections a combined $25,000, according to the committee's initial finance report Democratic state Rep. Kyle Bailey, of Gorham, led the 2016 ranked-choice campaign and he's also leading Protect Maine Elections, along with state Sen. Bennett Bailey says the foreign electioneering issue is drawing interest from a range of supporters, including those behind ranked-choice voting and people concerned about money in politics "I think this is a unique issue that brings Democrats, Republicans, independents, Greens, Libertarians together because despite our differences we all agree that our political system isn't working and that money is an issue, but in particular, that foreign governments and their subsidiaries shouldn't be involved in our elections," he said. "Maine elections should be for Maine people. Protect Maine Elections launched the citizens initiative in August, shortly after Gov. Mills vetoed a similar prohibition, arguing that a foreign electioneering ban would unfairly silence companies owned by foreign governments A similar assertion was made by backers of the U.S. Supreme Court's 2010 Citizens United decision, which erased contribution and spending limits for American corporations As it turns out, some of those who are seeking to undo Citizens United are also backing the proposed Maine ban on foreign government electioneering Among them is Jeff Clements, president of American Promise, which is seeking to amend the U.S. Constitution to reverse Citizens United Clements previously donated to a 2015 campaign that strengthened Maine's Clean Elections program and added transparency requirements to the state's campaign finance laws He and Nancy Heselton, of Peaks Island, have donated a combined $25,000 to the Protect Maine Elections committee The foreign government electioneering prohibition was prompted by Hydro-Quebec, the Quebec government-owned energy generator that's spent $10 million trying to stop a referendum that could scuttle Central Maine Power's transmission project through western Maine The company has been seeking to increase its U.S. energy exports, a goal backed by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Hydro-Quebec, which would supply the electricity for the CMP project known as the New England Clean Energy Connect, has called the Maine project the largest sales contract in its history However, its spending in the corridor fight has been criticized since 2019, when it began exploiting a loophole in Maine campaign finance laws. State and federal law ban contributions or expenditures on candidate campaigns, but both are silent on ballot measures Several states have recently implemented bans on foreign electioneering. Additionally, campaign finance reformers have attempted to curb spending by foreign-owned companies — not just those owned by foreign governments — as a way of limiting corporate spending in elections Such an effort was attempted in the Legislature this year, but lawmakers instead settled for a prohibition only on companies with foreign government ownership, such as Hydro-Quebec The bill received bipartisan support, but not enough to override the governor's veto Click here to subscribto Maine's Political Pulse Newsletter, sent to your inbox on Friday mornings MORE→
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Sep 24, 2021

 
 
 
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League of Women Voters: Special Elections + Ranked Choice Voting
bronxnet.org
Article
1232 chars
Bronxnet
Bronxnet
ContextualWeb
The host of Open BXRx, Sonyi Lopez, is joined by Bella Wang, Voting Reform Chair of League of Women Voters NYC, to share what you need to know about upcoming Bronx special elections, ranked-choice voting & more! Producers: Sonyi Lopez ... MORE→
ShowsBX Omni ChannelOPENEpisodeFeb 16, 2021The host of Open BXRx, Sonyi Lopez, is joined by Bella Wang, Voting Reform Chair of League of Women Voters NYC, to share what you need to know about upcoming Bronx special elections, ranked-choice voting & more! Producers: Sonyi Lopez & Franchesca Feliz Editor : Franchesca Feliz Production Assistant: Rebecca Hemick For more information on BronxNet visit us at- https://bronxnet.org/ Follow us on Facebook at- https://www.facebook.com/BronxNetTV Follow us on Twitter at- https://twitter.com/BronxnetTV Follow us on Instagram at- https://www.instagram.com/bronxnettv Follow us on LinkedIn at- https://www.linkedin.com/company/bronxnet-community-televisionAbout the Show MORE→
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Sep 24, 2021

 
 
 
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Commentary: Point & counterpoint | Gerrymandering - Ranked choice provides a fairer approach
myjournalcourier.com
Article
4470 chars
Jacksonville Journal-Courier
Rob Richie And David Daley
BingNews
Partisan gerrymandering of legislative districts has been a uniquely American problem...
Partisan gerrymandering of legislative districts has been a uniquely American problem since our founding: As long as we’ve had politicians, they’ve exploited the power to pick their own voters before the voters get to pick them It’s wrong, and it’s getting worse. Politicians have fancier tools and greater incentives to draw maps that advantage their side, with only five House seats separating Democrats and Republicans. More than ever, gerrymanders — crafted with sophisticated technology, powerful software, and terabytes of personal and political data — threaten the powerful ideals at the heart of our founders’ vision: Consent of the governed Citizens in a representative democracy must have the power to change their leaders when they so desire. But after the 2018 midterms, 59 million Americans lived in a state where a legislative chamber was controlled by a party that lost the popular vote Our reform priorities are skewed. We must prevent voter fraud, but it’s as rare as being struck by lightning. Meanwhile, twisted maps alter politics nearly everywhere As the 2021 redistricting cycle begins, and politicians lock themselves in back rooms in order to lock voters out of power for another decade, it’s clear that something must be done. But what solution will truly work — and last John Adams said that legislatures ought to be “in miniature, an exact portrait of the people at large. It should think, feel, reason and act like them.” That’s a tough claim to make about our polarized Congress: A recent Economist poll found that Congress has a 17% approval rating Partisan redistricting is a problem, but the root cause is districting itself. Right now, we elect 435 members of Congress from 435 single-member districts. The shape of each district matters so much because most of the nation tilts distinctively red or blue. The best way to flip a seat is to control redistricting, not change voters’ minds Virginia congressman Don Beyer offers a comprehensive solution: the Fair Representation Act. It would replace our winner-take-all district system — one formalized with an act of Congress only 54 years ago — with a fair approach for all states: Larger districts represented by multiple representatives elected proportionally with ranked-choice voting This would upend the power of gerrymandering. With districts of up to five fairly elected representatives, it would hardly matter where the lines went. All of the things people hate about gerrymandering — few competitive districts, greater partisan rigidity when safe seats move all the action to low-turnout party primaries, skewed outcomes — would go away Better still, the results would be fairer. Take Massachusetts. Donald Trump won 32% of the vote there, and the Republican governor is one of the nation’s most popular. You might assume that Republicans have three of the state’s nine congressional seats. Yet Massachusetts voters have not sent a single Republican to the House since 1994 Under the Fair Representation Act, Massachusetts would have three districts with three members, and Republicans would likely elect one seat in each. Fair representation also would be true for underrepresented Democrats in Tennessee, Kentucky, Kansas and Oklahoma — all of whom are now in danger of being gerrymandered into extinction through gerrymandering Every state would have the same number of representatives. We’d simply elect them in a way that creates a closer replica of the people, as modeled in many local elections Some states have tried to address gerrymandering with commissions. But they can prove vulnerable to partisan manipulation, and wouldn’t have much effect in states like Massachusetts or Tennessee where political geography makes it impossible to draw competitive single-member districts that accurately reflect the people The U.S. Constitution may not dictate proportionality, but Americans feel it deeply: We know that 60% of the vote shouldn’t equate to 100% of the seats Winner-takes-all districts are the reason Congress doesn’t mirror the people or govern according to their desires Rob Richie is president and CEO of FairVote, a nonpartisan organization seeking better elections. David Daley is senior fellow at FairVote and author of “Unrigged: How Americans Are Battling Back to Save Democracy.” They wrote this for InsideSources.com MORE→
> 3 weeks
Sep 24, 2021

 
 
 
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Coalition kicks off ranked-choice voting campaign in Calif.
thefulcrum.us
Article
292 chars
The Fulcrum
Shawn Griffiths
Newscatcher
Could ranked choice voting soon arrive ino the nation's most populous state? That is the goal of a new coalition which officially launched earlier this week.
We need more voices like Fannie Lou Hamer, who asked tough questions at the 1964 Democratic National Convention, writes Rubin.
> 3 weeks
Sep 24, 2021

 
 
 
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City Council to address flooding, diversifying police ranks
phillytrib.com
Article
478 chars
The Philadelphia Tribune
Ayana Jones Tribune Staff Writer
BingNews
City Council plans to hold hearings on the impact of flooding Philadelphia’s Eastwick neighborhood, diversifying the city’s police force, the implications of a ranked choice voting system and improving safety MORE→
Thank you for reading the Philadelphia Tribune You have exhausted your free article views for this month. Please press the "subscribe" button below and see our introductory price of $0.25 per week for 13 weeks. Otherwise, we look forward to seeing you next month MORE→
> 3 weeks
Sep 24, 2021
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