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Can ranked-choice voting heal our poisoned politics?
knowablemagazine.org
Article
Knowable Magazine
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> 3 weeks
Sep 24, 2021

 
 
 
0.2%
TWO VIEWS: Scrap gerrymandering, adopt ranked choice
ydr.com
Article
5066 chars
York Daily Record
Rob Richie And David Daley
BingNews
As long as we’ve had politicians, they’ve exploited the power to pick their voters before voters pick them. It’s wrong, and it’s getting worse.
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 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-take-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 David Daley is senior fellow at FairVote, a nonpartisan organization seeking better elections. Rob Richie is FairVote's president and CEO MORE→
> 3 weeks
Sep 23, 2021

 
 
 
0%
TWO VIEWS: Scrap gerrymandering
goerie.com
Article
5066 chars
Erie Times-News
Rob Richie And David Daley
Newscatcher
As long as we’ve had politicians, they’ve exploited the power to pick their voters before voters pick them. It’s wrong, and it’s getting worse.
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 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-take-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 David Daley is senior fellow at FairVote, a nonpartisan organization seeking better elections. Rob Richie is FairVote's president and CEO MORE→
> 3 weeks
Sep 23, 2021

 
 
 
0%
Reviving the Islamic Sisterhood for Empowerment - FairVote + RISE
facebook.com
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> 3 weeks
Sep 23, 2021

 
 
 
0.2%
Ranked choice
news.cornell.edu
Article
6019 chars
Cornell Chronicle
Tom Fleischman |
Newscatcher
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 the practice of gerrymandering. 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 Shmoy, 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 District,” published on arXiv this month. Co-author Nikhil Gar, 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” researcled 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→
> 3 weeks
Sep 23, 2021

 
 
 
2.2%
Brown: The Need for Ranked Choice Voting
dailyutahchronicle.com
Article
8029 chars
The Daily Utah Chronicle
Jackson Brown
BingNews
American politics face a problem: politicians can win elections with less than a majority vote. If a candidate can’t scrape together approval from more than half of eligible voters, we shouldn’t say they were democratically elected. For example, in the 2020 Wisconsin presidential elections, neither current president Joe Biden nor former president Donald Trump... MORE→
Brown: The Need for Ranked Choice Votin (Photo by Curtis Lin | Daily Utah Chronicle American politics face a problem: politicians can win elections with lesthan a majority vote. If a candidate can’t scrape together approval from more than half of eligible voters, we shouldn’t say they were democratically elected For example, in the 2020 Wisconsin presidential, neither current president Joe Biden nor former president Donald Trump reached 50% of the vote. Still, Biden took home all 10 electors. By implementing ranked-choice voting (RCV), voters in both primary and general elections would have a greater chance of getting their voices heard Ranked Choice in Actio Although many states would undergo drastic change to turn their election systems into ranked-choice, it’s been done before. The recent New York City Democratic mayoral racperfectly demonstrates what RCV can look like. Candidate Eric Adams started off strong, but only gathered about 30% of the first-choice votes In systems with plurality winners, that percentage would have easily been enough to win it. Instead, using RCV and voters’ secondary preferences, New York slowly whittled the race down to two candidates. While Adams still won the race, he only beahis runner-up by 9,000 votes. Still, he was given legitimacy by the majority of people, and we can safely say that he was democratically elected Australia’s parliamentary system has also used this approacfor years. Through the need for majority approval, candidates have been forced to campaign towards all voters, hoping to move their name up on the rankings of individual voters. Extreme positions often don’t rank high on most ballots, leading centrist candidates to a win in many case In an era in which presidential politics have become so polarized, Americans could benefit from a candidate who must earn approval from both sides of the political spectrum Ranked Choice and Legitimac There is perhaps no stronger case for RCV than in the presidential nomination races. Often consisting of three or more viable candidates, some primaries award delegates to a candidate with nowhere near a majority of the vote share. For instance, Biden woNorth Carolina in 2020 with a mere 43% of the vote. While at least the delegate share was split among top vote-getters, plurality winners earn a number of delegates that far outweighs their vote total In 39 state, the system functions as “winner-take-all,” where the candidate who gets the most votes wins, despite not winning by majority. In the 2016 Florida Republican Primar, Trump won all 99 delegates with under 50% of the votes. While that’s not necessarily bad, if a majority of voters don’t even support the winner in a given election, there’s little basis to elect them RCV will not serve to swing the election against the plurality winner, but rather to give full legitimacy to the winner. Trump’s large leawould likely have sustained with RCV, and he would have earned delegates by will of the majority But sometimes RCV might leave the original plurality winner in the dust. This likely means that they were far too polarizing and didn’t appeato voters as much as more moderate candidates. This outcome doesn’t happen often and hasn’t occurred in American cities and states that utilizthis system However, it remains a strong possibility and would reflect the true will of the people Helping Third Party Candidate Those identifying as politically moderate typically feel rustratewith the existence of a two-party system. From the start, the founders knethis frustration would take place. 1968’s presidential election saw the last third-partcandidate to win a state, and the last to even win 5% of the popular vote was in 1996 This doesn’t typically happen because voters think binarily, but because they choose the candidate that most closely aligns with their views — even if they’re pretty far off For example, I largely vote Republican, though I hold much more libertarian ideas. While some smaller candidates closer represent the views of some voters, voters like me refrain from backing them because, put simply, they won’t win Many political circlerefer to voting for a third party as “throwing your vote away.” Criticof third-party voting denounce the “selfishness” of voting based on self-interest and personal beliefs. If you align with a third party, your options consist of either throwing away your vote or backing one of the big dogs. There doesn’t seem to be a way around it But a ranked-choice system paves that way allowing voters to put down multiple candidates, they can do both. It opens up the freedom to support the third-party, while being able to back the preferred big dog if (and likely when) the third-party loses. RCV would take the burden off of third-party voters and present a better opportunity to break up the two-party system The Futur Obviously, implementing a large-scale ranked-choice voting system is no easy task — especially given the powestates have over elections. However, it wouldn’t require a full system overhaul. The electoral college representatives could still choose the president, delegates could still produce nominees and so on The way they choose those delegates, however, would change. In doing so, a rigid two-party system with messy winner-take-all elections and plurality winners could be erased. Instead, our elections would reflect the true will of the people, and America would become better because of it [email protected @JacksonsTake MORE→
> 3 weeks
Sep 23, 2021

 
 
 
5.4%
Statewide Coalition Launches to Bring Ranked Choice Voting to California
ivn.us
Article
5461 chars
ivn.us
Shawn Griffiths
BingNews
Could ranked choice voting soon come to the nation’s most populous state? That is the goal of a new coalition that officially launched on Tuesday, September 21.
Could ranked choice voting soon come to the nation’s most populous state? That is the goal of a new coalition that officially launched on Tuesday, September 21 The California RCV Coalitiointroduced itself to the public during a public Zoom event at a point when ranked choice voting (RCV) is having a moment. RCV is the fastest spreading voting reform in the country, and coalition members hope California will build on both the popularity and success of reform efforts “There has been a lot of momentum in the state,” said Tom Charron, who represented the group in a recent interview for IV. “We’ve been seeing the results of ranked choice voting, and the positive effects it has had on local elections, but what there hasn’t been is the momentum at a statewide level. Charron said the goal of the coalition is two fold: (1) Over the long-run, achieve statewide RCV adoption, and (2) -- In the short term -- offer support to local RCV campaigns to spread the use of the alternative voting method in the state Coalition members understand that getting RCV passed at the statewide level is going to be a long game. It is the largest state in the country, and garnering the support and resources to launch such an endeavor, Charron says, will take time. The strategy to make this happen will also require input from coalition members, supporters, and volunteers Voters in the Golden State are not completely unfamiliar with RCV, so the coalition will have some foundation from which to work. RCV is already used in a handful of municipalities, including San Francisco and Oakland. Albany, Eureka, and Palm Desert are slated to implement its use in 2022 RCV allows voters to rank candidates in order of preference (i.e. first choice, second choice, third choice, etc) on the ballot. When voting is done, the first choice results are tabulated. If no candidate gets over 50% of the vote, an instant round of runoff is held. The last place candidate is eliminated and their voters’ next choice is applied to the totals. This process repeats until a candidate has at least 50%+1 of the vote Put simply, ranked choice voting shows how voters would cast a ballot under subsequent runoff elections without the expense of those elections Advocates of RCV say the new voting method can help temper the hyper-partisanship that has become a stain on the US electoral and political processes. Polarization is especially visible at the national level, but as Charron explained, voters have witnessed the nationalization of politics at the state and local level “It’s clear if we keep on this path, we’re in store for a less functional future,” he said. “Our government representatives are just going to be at each other’s throats. “RCV is one of the most powerful long-term solutions that helps reduce polarization. That has been proven many times over.” It changes the incentive system when candidates have to think about appealing to a voter’s second, third, or fourth choice. They can’t tear down the voter’s first choice, and they have to find commonality with other candidates in order to get the attention of voters outside their base of support Opponents of RCV argue that the voting method is too complicated for voters to understand. Yet, advocates point to a history of exit polls after RCV elections that show voters like it and they want to continue using it For example, New York City held its first RCV primary elections in June, and not only did the city see the largest turnout since 199, but 77% reportedly said they want to keep using the voting method Charron also commented on the nonpartisan nature of ranked choice voting. It is not a reform that explicitly benefits a single party, and it has garnered cross-partisan support. While some might point to the traditionally “blue” jurisdictions in which RCV is being adopted, it has also gained significant ground in traditionally “red” jurisdictions like Utah and Alaska, where it was adopted for statewide elections “Across the board, in terms of how [RCV] is implemented, there is no favoritism for one party or the other,” said Charron. “It is supported by groups and individuals and elected representatives who are forward-thinking, and are looking to get more accurate representation, and they come from the left and the right. Members of the California RCV Coalition also span the political spectrum, and the group will continue to bring in new members as they get to work on ranked choice voting initiatives. The group’s launch was a big milestone, and Charron says he expects many new individual supporters and volunteers to come in that will work directly with the coalition “We welcome anyone who is interested in promoting RCV in California to become a supporter and a volunteer for our organization, and have a voice in what our strategy is going to be” he said To get more information on the California RCV Coalition or how to get involved, visit the coalition’ websit MORE→
> 3 weeks
Sep 22, 2021

 
 
 
0.4%
Sarasota to file suit to determine if it can pursue ranked-choice voting
heraldtribune.com
Article
5510 chars
Sarasota Herald-Tribune
Anne Snabes
ContextualWeb
Sarasota leaders agreed to seek legal clarification on whether ranked-choice voting is allowed under Florida law.
The city will be seeking a declaration that the Florida Election Code and the state’s Constitution allow municipal elections to be conducted using ranked-choice voting, according to city attorney Robert Fournier. The Sarasota City Commission voted 4-1 on Monday to direct Fournier to work with outside legal counsel on this effort. Fournier 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 elections. Sarasota will file a legal action against either Florida's Department of State, the department's Division of Elections or officials within those entities, according to David Angel, general counsel for Rank My Vote Florida, a group that promotes ranked-choice voting in the state Sarasota 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 ballots. But, Turner said, there is no software certified in the state of Florida that can tabulate a ranked-choice election For 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. Supporters 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 legal. If 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 2022. Angel, 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 choice. Angel said the practice ensures that the winner of an election has achieved a consensus. It also eliminates a need for runoffs. Angel said that Rank My Vote Florida will pay for the external legal counsel that will work with the city on the civil action to clarify what's allowed. Ahead of the commission’s vote, 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 was opposed to the 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 meeting. Many 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 said. MORE→
> 3 weeks
Sep 22, 2021

 
 
 
0.2%
Sarasota City Commission plans legal action to advance ranked-choice voting
msn.com
Article
5786 chars
MSN
BingNews
Sarasota leaders agreed to seek legal clarification on whether ranked-choice voting is allowed under Florida law.
The city of Sarasota is seeking a court judgment on whether it can use ranked-choice voting in its elections© Archive photSarasota City HalRanked-choice voting allows voters to rank all candidates in a race, according to their preferences. This form of voting ensures that the winner of an election has received over 50% of the voteThe city will be seeking a declaration that the Florida Election Code and the state’s Constitution allow municipal elections to be conducted using ranked-choice voting, according to city attorney Robert Fournier. The Sarasota City Commission voted 4-1 on Monday 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 unitSarasota will file a legal action against either Florida's Department of State, the department's Division of Elections or officials within those entities, according to David Angel, general counsel for Rank My Vote Florida, a group that promotes ranked-choice voting in the stateSarasota 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 action to clarify what's allowedAhead of the commission’s vote, 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 was opposed to the 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 plans legal action to advance ranked-choice votin MORE→
> 3 weeks
Sep 22, 2021

 
 
 
0.6%
Ranked Choice Voting, A Better Way to Vote?
youtube.com
Video
0:57:39
YouTube
Libertarianism(Dot)Org Podcasts
BingVideo
Tired of voting for a political candidate you don’t particularly like who represents a major political party you don’t particularly like so that another candidate who you dislike a little bit more won’t win office? If so, then ranked choice voting might be the electoral reform for you.Ranked choice voting is a system in which voters don ... MORE→
> 3 weeks
Sep 22, 2021

 
 
 
3.0%
Multiple Election Cycles in Maine Highlight Voters’ Successful Embrace of Ranked Choice Voting
rstreet.org
Article
2998 chars
R Street
Allie Mccandless
BingNews
As the country grapples with how to increase voter confidence, participation and choice in U.S. elections, a new analysis of ranked choice voting (RCV) in Maine by the R Street Institute provides critical insights into implementing these and similar reforms across the country. MORE→
Following implementation in the 2018 primary election in the state, Maine was the first jurisdiction to establish RCV for legislative and executive positions at a statewide level. That year’s congressional primary and general elections, followed by the 2020 Republican primary election, provided hard voting data on the success of RCV across multiple types of elections. “Maine provides a robust example of how RCV plays out in a competitive political environment. The data shows that voters are smart and when you put an RCV ballot in front of them, they know what to do with it,” said Matthew Germer, elections fellow at the R Street Institute. Key findings: Voters seized the opportunity to rank candidatesIn the 2018 Democratic primary race for Maine’s 2nd Congressional District, nearly 65 percent of voters ranked at least two candidates, while nearly half ranked at least three candidates and more than a quarter ranked all four candidates. In the 2020 Republican primary election for the same seat, more than half of all voters ranked at least two candidates and just under half ranked all three Voters used RCV to cross party linesData from the 2018 general election race shows that a strong majority of Democratic and third-party voters and nearly a third of Republican voters ranked more than one candidate, often across party lines Voters were not confused by RCVRather, the number of blank ballots matched the totals seen in elections before RCV, and less than 1 percent of ballots were set aside due to confusion. Even in the highly competitive 2018 general election, the number of confused ballots only totaled 0.21 percent, nowhere near enough to change the outcome of the election. After three years of implementation and multiple elections, the data in Maine demonstrates that voters understand how to use the power of RCV to express their preferences in elections, and that the overwhelming majority of ballots cast in an RCV election accurately reflect those preferences. MORE→
> 3 weeks
Sep 22, 2021

 
 
 
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Gabby Petito + Ranked-Choice Voting + International Travel
msn.com
Article
5349 chars
MSN
BingNews
Here's the latest from Sarasota, delivered straight to your inbox — for free!
© Courtesy of North Port PollicGood day, Sarasota neighbors! Here's everything you need to know today in townAre you a local business owneor marketer in Sarasota? Our premium local sponsorships will keep you at the top of inboxes around towevery morning. us herfor the lowdownFirst, today's weatherPossible light rain in the morning and afternoon. High: 87 Low: 75Here are the top stories in Sarasota todaySearch for Brian Laundricontinues in Sarasota Countreserve after Gabby Petito’s deatconfirmed. (Sarasota PatcSarasota residentapproved ranked-choice voting in 2007, but the technology to make that happen wasn’t available. Now, the city is partnering with the group Rank My Vote Floridto take legal action to remove any obstacles to making it happen. (YourObserver.coWith the U.S. lifting travel restrictions for fully vaccinated international travelers, it’s expected the Sarasota-Manatee regiowill see an influx visitors from the United Kingdo, central Europand other countries. (Sarasota Herald-TribunThe Fabulous Independent Film Festivakicks off Thursday and runs through Oct. 2. The LGBTQ+ festival celebrates film, music, dance, visual arts and more. (Sarasota PatcToday's Sarasota Daily is brought to you our friends at GoodRx — the best way to save money on your prescription. GoodRx helps you locate the lowest prices for medications at local pharmacies, so you're not overpaying. Works for pet medications too! To see how much you can save, go to GoodRx.coToday in Sarasota1/2 Day Early Release @ 12:15 - Sarasota Military Academy (12:00 A32nd Annual Girls Inc. Celebration - Girl's Inc of Sarasota County (3:00 PFood Pantry - Wilkinson Elementary School (3:15 PTennis-5:30 / Vball-6:15 vs. Pine View (5:30 PResin Art Workshop at Mellow Mushroom Sarasota (6:30 PSarasota Patch NotebooSarasota Police Department"Calvin Turner, 46, has been arrested and is facing multiple charges including sexual battery, trafficking in fentanyl, cocaine, and MDMA, and possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell within 1000 feet of a church." (InstagraFlorida Department of Health (DOH)"We continue to operate State of Florida monoclonal antibody sites to expand access to this lifesaving treatment for COVID-19. An updated list of sites is below. You can make an appointment here: http://patientportalfl.com" (FacebooHumane Society of Sarasota County"Clear the Shelters adoption event was a great success this year! 30 of long-term animals like Marlin (photoed) who had been with us for over 220 days, went to loving furever homes." (FacebooSarasota Opera"On this day in history... in 1926, Sarasota was cleaning up after a "vicious" storm. From The Sarasota Herald-Tribune, "Terrifying sounds of blown down buildings, broken plate glass windows." (InstagraFrom our sponsors — thanks for supporting local newsFeatured businessesTown Square Sarasot— 1950's-Themed Senior Day Care coming to Sarasota! (Visit websitEventsJob listingsNow you're in the loop and ready to start this Wednesday off right. I'll be back in your inbox tomorrow with a new update! If you're into these newsletters, consider bringing some of your friends and neighbors on board. You can send them this link to subscrib— Tiffany RazzanHave a news tip or suggestion for an upcoming Sarasota Daily? I'm all ears. You can email me at Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this articleSend MSN Feedbac in a new windo MORE→
> 3 weeks
Sep 22, 2021

 
 
 
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Westbrook voters to decide on councilor, three school committee seats
pressherald.com
Article
3102 chars
Press Herald
Ann Fisher
BingNews
Ranked-choice voting for local elections is also on the November ballot.
Westbrook voters will weigh-in on a city council race and three school committee races in November, along with deciding whether to establish ranked-choice voting for municipal elections Ward 4 residents will decide between challenger Kristina Yurko and City Council President Gary Rairdon, who has represented the ward since 2013. The council terms are for three years At-large Councilor Mike Shaughnessy and Ward 3 Councilor Anna Turcotte are running unopposed for reelection For the school committee, newcomer Tracey Sardella is challenging at-large member Suzanne Salisbury, who serves as the committee’s finance chairperson and is a state representative. Salisbury has served on the school committee since 2008. School committee terms are three years Jessica Foley, who is married to Mayor Mike Foley, is challenging Jessica Moninski for the Ward 2 committee seat. Moninski was appointed to replace Nica Bates in March 2020 In Ward 5, another newcomer, Brooke Reed, hopes to unseat Beth Schultz, who defeated longtime committee member and Chairperson Jim Violette in 2018 In Ward 1, Katy Rice is running opposed for Steve Berry’s seat. Berry, elected in 2015, did not seek re-election Also on the local ballot Nov. 2 is a referendum to bring ranked-choice voting to municipal elections. If approved, ranked-choice voting would be used in the mayor’s race and to elect city councilors and other applicable local elected positions when there are three or more candidates in one race and no candidate has won by more than 50% of the votes Using the system, voters may rank the candidates in the order they prefer. If no candidate receives more than 50% of the popular vote, the candidate with the fewest votes is eliminated and that candidate’s supporters’ second choices are then counted. The process continues until one candidate gets more than 50% The change would cost about an additional $25,000-$30,000 per election. City Clerk Angela Holmes said ranked-choice voting would have been applicable in four elections between 2013 and 2019, including two mayoral races All residents will vote at the Community Center gym at 426 Bridge St Send questions/commentto the editors « Previou filed under: MORE→
> 3 weeks
Sep 21, 2021

 
 
 
0.4%
Tuesday
ktoo.org
Article
926 chars
KTOO
Rhonda Mcbride
Newscatcher
For most Alaskan voters, ranked choice voting is like a big mystery box. What is it? How does it work? Will it change Alaska politics?  So many unknowns.
For most Alaskan voters, ranked choice voting is like a big mystery box. What is it? How does it work? Will it change Alaska politics? So many unknowns. But on Tuesday’s Juneau Afternoon, Professor Benjamin Reilly from the University of Western Australia will try to answer those questions. He’s this week’s speaker at UAS’s Egan lecture series on Friday Also, on today’s show After a year off due to COVID, Brewfest is back. What’s on tap this Saturday And another popular event returns, the Battle of the Burger, a fundraiser for the Thunder Mountain Swim Tea Rhonda McBride will be your host this Tuesday. Catch Juneau Afternoon, Tuesday through Friday, at 3:00 p.m. on KTOO Juneau 104.3, online at ktoo.org, and repeated at 4:00 p.m. on KRNN 102.7 MORE→
> 3 weeks
Sep 21, 2021

 
 
 
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Ranked choice voting is the solution for ‘sad voting reality’ (Letters)
masslive.com
Article
1672 chars
masslive
Letters To The Editor
BingNews
Holyoke should also adopt RCV to give voters more voices, choices, and reasons to turn out to vote in November.
Thank you for your editorial urging “all registered voters take the time to cast a ballot on Tuesday,” noting that: “It is a sad statement of the reality of voting these days that so few will decide a race which will impact so many in the city of nearly 40,000 people,” “ Voters critical in Holyoke mayor’s race, Sept”, 16 page C8 Fortunately, there is a solution: Holyoke could increase voter participation, save money, and make our elections more fair, by replacing our September preliminary and November general elections with a single Ranked choice voting (RCV) election in November RCV achieves more representative results than preliminaries while saving us over $30,000 each election. Under RCV, if your favorite candidate can’t win, your vote transfers to your second choice, and so on, until someone achieves a majority and wins. This means voters only attend one high-turnout general election and candidates need a majority of voter support to be elected Both Easthampton and Amherst voters have adopted RCV for their municipal elections, and it is used for political elections of some form or another in a majority of states Holyoke should also adopt RCV to give voters more voices, choices, and reasons to turn out to vote in November Learn more on Facebook and join our growing list of supporters: Holyoke for Ranked Choice Votin Josh Knox, Rebecca Downing, Libby Hernandez, Aaron Vega, Holyok MORE→
> 3 weeks
Sep 21, 2021

 
 
 
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Maine could ban foreign influence in its elections, and the ballot campaign has drawn early support
bangordailynews.com
Article
4573 chars
Bangor Daily News
Steve Mistler, Maine Public
BingNews
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. MORE→
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 Republican state Sen. Rick Bennett, of Oxford 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 Democratic Gov. Janet 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 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 export, 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 law. 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 yea, 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 This article appears through a media partnership wit Maine Publi MORE→
> 3 weeks
Sep 21, 2021

 
 
 
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City seeks authorization for ranked choice voting
yourobserver.com
Article
4887 chars
Your Observer
David Conway Deputy Managing Editor
BingNews
The city is partnering with an outside group on a legal challenge that would facilitate a change to instant runoff balloting for local elections.
In 2007, 77.6% of city voters cast ballots in favor of a charter amendment that calls for the use of instant runoff voting in municipal racesAlthough the amendment was adopted, the city never made the change to ranked-choice ballots — because the necessary technology wasn’t available. Now, at the request of the group Rank My Vote Florida, the city will take legal action in hopes of removing regulatory obstacles to a new voting systemOn Monday, the City Commission voted 4-1 to partner with Rank My Vote Florida to seek a declaratory judgment that affirms local governments have the authority to use ranked voting for their elections. Although two commissioners expressed some reservations, a majority of the board supported the idea, noting the electorate had codified a change to ranked-choice elections more than a decade ago“This went before the voters,” Commissioner Jen Ahearn-Koch said. “They voted for it overwhelmingly. It’s in our charter.Ranked choice voting — or instant runoff voting, as it’s referred to in the city charter — is a form of balloting that allows voters to numerically rank candidates in order of preference. If no candidate receives more than 50% of the vote, the lowest-ranking candidate is eliminated from consideration, and votes are reallocated based on rankings. The process continues until one candidate reaches majority supportDavid Angel, the general counsel for Rank My Vote Florida, said the group approached Sarasota officials because, due to the adopted charter amendment, the city is the only party in the state with standing to seek a declaratory judgment. The Florida Department of State office has said it will not certify a software tabulator for ranked-choice ballots because the state constitution prohibits it. But Angel said that prohibition does not apply to municipal electionsAngel said the pursuit of a declaratory judgment that contradicts the Department of State’s stance is a low-risk proposition for the city. Rank My Vote Florida has offered to provide the legal argument and funding for the litigation“We do all of the legwork so there’s as little burden on staff as can be,” Angel saidThe city charter describes ranked choice voting as“an efficient and cost-effective process that fosters broad and diverse participation.” On Monday, proponents of the system advanced similar arguments. Angel said surveys and other analysis from places that have implemented ranked choice voting have shown satisfaction with the process among all demographics. He said the system would offer fiscal benefits, as the city would only have to hold a single election for commission seats, rather than a primary and runoffSarasota residents who supported ranked choice voting urged the city to take up the legal challenge, as their grassroots advocacy has proven inadequate for getting new ballots in place“We’ve hit a wall,” resident Arlene Sweeting said. “We can’t climb over the wall without your help.Commissioners Kyle Battie and Hagen Brody both shared some concern about a change to ranked choice voting. Battie said he was worried the electorate that approved the charter amendment — 6,554 voters in 2007 — was not necessarily reflective of the will of the electorate today“I just have a problem with this not being an actual true representation of the population of the city,” Battie saidBattie and Brody both questioned whether a change to ranked choice voting would have an uneven impact across socioeconomic lines, with Brody citing reports from the New York City mayor primary that said lower-income communities were less likely to use the ranking system. Angel said analysis of other races in New York City showed different results, and in surveys from New York, Minneapolis and San Francisco, at least 83% of voters of color and voters aged 60 and above said ranked choice voting was easy to useBrody cast the lone dissenting vote against pursuing the declaratory judgment, with the rest of the board approving the proposal“It’s our responsibility as elected officials to exercise the voice of the community,” Ahearn-Koch said. “This is our job. I am in support of doing our job.Angel said he anticipated the legal process could take six months before a final judgment. If software for ranked choice voting is approved, the city will have two years before it must adopt a new instant runoff ballotJoin the Neighborhood! Our 100% local content helps strengthen our communities by delivering news and information that is relevant to our readers. Support independent local journalism by joining the Observer's new membership program — The Newsies — a group of like-minded community citizens, like you. Be a Newsi MORE→
> 3 weeks
Sep 21, 2021

 
 
 
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An Analysis of Ranked Choice Voting in Maine
rstreet.org
Article
241 chars
R Street Institute
BingNews
Maine voters approved Question 5, the Ranked Choice Voting Act, which stated that all primary and general elections for governor, state legislature and federal congressional offices would use ranked choice voting (RCV) to establish a winner. MORE→
> 3 weeks
Sep 21, 2021

 
 
 
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Glitch Reveals Ballot Choices of N.Y.C. Voters, Including Mayor’s Son
nytimes.com
Article
5676 chars
@nytimes
Dana Rubinstein
BingNews
The Board of Elections inadvertently allowed the mayoral primary votes of 378 New Yorkers to become public, a report found.
When a well-known 20-something New Yorker cast his Democratic primary ballot in June, he had every reason to assume that no one would know his choice for mayor — a point of interest for many, since his father was the current mayorAs it turns out, Dante de Blasio, the son of Mayor Bill de Blasio, was not afforded that privacyIn a report released Monday by the Princeton University Electoral Innovation Lab, researchers said that missteps by the New York City Board of Elections had inadvertently allowed the lab to determine the votes of 378 New Yorkers in the mayoral primary. Those voters include the mayor’s son and a former New York City deputy mayor, Robert K. SteelBecause that information is supposed to be secret, in accordance with state law, the report’s findings suggest a breach of one of America’s most prized guarantees, the secret ballot, and represent another blemish for the city Board of Elections“I am appalled by this violation of my privacy,” said Dante de Blasio, a registered Democrat, via a spokesman for his father, the mayor. “My main concern is not that people will know who I voted for, but rather that the B.O.E. has repeatedly shown complete incompetence and still hasn’t been reformed by the state. Hundreds of my fellow voters have had their right to a private ballot violated by the B.O.E.’s blatant carelessness. Enough is enough.The researchers were able to identify the voting records of the individual New York City voters by cross-referencing the New York State voter file — a list of every registered voter, whether they voted and their address — with the board’s cast-vote records, which contained hundreds of voting precincts where just one ballot was castThose precincts included that of Mr. de Blasio, who is registered at Gracie Mansion, and that of Mr. Steel, a registered Republican who lives in NoHo, a heavily Democratic part of ManhattanDante de Blasio ranked Maya Wiley as his first choice for mayor in the June Democratic primary, followed by Eric Adams, Kathryn Garcia, Raymond McGuire and Shaun Donovan, according to the researchersMr. Steel, when reached by phone, described himself as alarmed and disappointed by his inclusion in the list of identifiable voters, but declined to comment furtherIt was easier for researchers to identify Republican voting records, like Mr. Steel’s, than Democratic voting records, because there are fewer Republicans in New York City. Democratic registration here outstrips Republican registration by nearly seven to one. In Mr. Steel’s voting precinct, there were only 19 registered Republicans, as of AugustThe problem of eliminating the anonymity of data by cross-referencing data sets is fairly common, and there’s a whole area of matdedicated to finding ways to share data while protecting privacyThe New York City Board of Elections is not considered among the most sophisticated managers of data. In June, the board accidentally released an incorrect vote tallfor the most important mayoral primary in a generation, and then had to retract that tally and tabulate the vote all over againThis was the first mayoral primary in city history to use ranked-choice voting, in which city voters were able to rank up to five choices for mayor in order of preference. Under the system, if no candidate won a majority, the last-place winner was eliminated. The second-choice votes of those who had favored the last-place candidate were counted instead. The process continued until there was a winnerThe winner was Mr. Adams, who will face Curtis Sliwa, the Republican candidate, in the November general electionThe new voting system proved to be a challenge for the board, which repeatedly declined technical assistancfrom the supplier of the software that it used to tabulate the ranked-choice votesOn Sept. 13, board officials discussed the report’s findings with its authors: Professor Sam Wang, who directs the Electoral Innovation Lab at Princeton; Jesse T. Clark, a Princeton postdoctoral researcher; and Lindsey Cormackan assistant professor of political science at the Stevens Institute of TechnologyIn that conversation, board officials said that they believe their legal reporting requirements compelled them to release the voting records in a particular format“The manner in which election results are reported is legally mandated,” a board spokeswoman, Valerie Diaz, said via emailThe researchers recommended the board group single-voter precincts with neighboring, larger precincts to avoid such ready identification, a practice the board contends would require a change to the City CharterThe researchers say that whatever the legal solution, the board should pursue it“We go into the ballot box thinking that our votes are private, that our choices are private,” Professor Cormack saidGood government groups took comfort in the limited nature of the problemRoughly one million New York City residents voted in the June primary, and only 378 votes were revealed“This is a minimal problem,” said Susan Lerner, executive director of Common Cause/New York. “This is a very very small fraction of the total number of voters. And they’re absolutely right, it’s easy to solve this problem.Kate Conger contributed reporting MORE→
> 3 weeks
Sep 20, 2021

 
 
 
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Sunday's letters: Ranked Choice Voting, COVID rules, pro-birth hypocrisy, more
heraldtribune.com
Article
5475 chars
Sarasota Herald-Tribune
Sarasota Herald-Tribune
BingNews
Attend a meeting Sept. 20 and ask the City Commission to seek a state declaration about the legality of RCV, which Sarasota voters approved in 2007.
Show support for Ranked Choice Votin In 2007, Sarasota voters overwhelmingly passed Ranked Choice Voting for use in City Commission races. Fourteen years later, implementation is still on hold pending certification of tabulation software by the Secretary of State, who will not consider certification due to an inaccurate reading of state law RCV allows voters to rank candidates in order of preference rather than having to choose just one. RCV encourages more candidates to run by allowing a large field with diverse views to compete, rewards civility, improves representation for women and minorities, and eliminates runoff elections Local supporters are asking the city to seek a declaration by the Secretary of State that RCV is allowed under Florida law How to send a letter to the edito Related How Ranked Choice Voting work To help advance RCV in Sarasota and other Florida cities awaiting resolution of the legal question, residents should attend the Sarasota City Commission hearing Sept. 20, 6 p.m., at Sarasota City Hall We need to send a clear message to the commissioners that this action is a priority for their constituents and other Florida citizens Sarasota voters: Let your voice be heard! Fill the room on Sept. 20 Vilia Johnson, Longboat Ke arts groups that protect patron Congratulations and thank you to the coalition of the Asolo Repertory Theatre, Circus Arts Conservatory, Florida Studio Theatre, Hermitage Artist Retreat, Sarasota Ballet, Sarasota Opera, Sarasota Orchestra, Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall and Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe for stepping up and protecting the health of their patrons and supporting our country in its time of need by mandating masks and requiring proof of vaccination or proof of a negative COVID test to attend an inside performance ( “Sarasota arts groups issue COVID-19 requirements for fall season,Sept. 14) We at Guitar Sarasota fully support this initiative and, in fact, posted on our website a month ago a similar policy that will be in effect when we resume our concert series this fall It is through medically sound and scientifically based safety precautions like these that we will be able to protect our citizens and support our country in its fight to return to normalcy. I encourage all lovers of the arts to support these organizations that have shown that they care about their patrons’ safety and have done the correct and patriotic thing in our country’s fight to overcome this pandemic Organizations and, for that matter, politicians that fail to take steps to protect the health of Americans and, in some cases, even block and/or undermine them, are not worthy of your support Rudolph Lucek, president, Guitar Sarasot GOP using pandemic to its advantag On Sept. 3, the Herald-Tribune published an insightful column by Jamelle Bouie on the Republican Party’s effort to prolong the pandemic The evidence is overwhelming. The disinformation spread by the right-wing news, social media and some Republicans in Congress on vaccine safety and bogus cures are blatant lies. Many Republican governors are passing anti-vaccine and anti-mask legislation, resulting in record infection and death rates Florida’s death rate is peaking, with August the deadliest yet. Our governor is waging war on school districts trying to protect their children and businesses trying to create safe working environments The clear purpose of this effort is to discredit President Joe Biden, who has made a priority of getting our country out of this terrible pandemic My Republican friends are good people who have gotten vaccinated and wear masks. Unfortunately, the GOP has been taken over by hard-core Donald Trump supporters. They want him reelected at any cost. The cost is the lives of our family and friends We must stand up and say no! We’ve been in this pandemic too long. Stop the killing Robert Kolk, Venic The hypocrisy of the ‘pro-birth’ movemen It is a fact that women have had, or have attempted to have, abortions ever since women have become pregnant. The “pro-birth” movement continues to attempt to legislate abortions out of existence, which will never happen Their hypocrisy shows when a part of the pro-birth movement attempts to carve out an exception for “rape, incest and the health of the mother.” If, as they claim, abortion is murder of the fetus, it is murder no matter whether the woman is impregnated by her husband, her boyfriend, her uncle, or a rapist, or her health is at issue This is a “zero-sum game” and the pro-birth movement can’t have it both ways. The money spent by the pro-birth movement would be better spent if it were directed to making abortion safe, legal and rare Women have a brain as well as a uterus and I trust women to use both wisely Dr. James Mazepa, University Par MORE→
4 weeks
Sep 19, 2021

 
 
 
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Letter: Voters need not wait until Nov. 2
hometownsource.com
Article
162 chars
hometownsource.com
Mike Hanks Community Editor
Newscatcher
To the editor:
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4 weeks
Sep 19, 2021

 
 
 
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Interview: NYC mayoral frontrunner Eric Adams
youtube.com
Video
0:02:32
YouTube
Ap Archive
BingVideo
(14 Sep 2021) FOR CLEAN VERSION SEE STORY NUMBER: 4343982 Former police captain Eric Adams, who first gained fame in the 1990s as a critic of the department he served, emerged into the national spotlight when he won a crowded Democratic primary for mayor of New York City. Adams' narrow victory in New York's first major race determined by ranked ... MORE→
4 weeks
Sep 19, 2021

 
 
 
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COUNTERPOINT: Scrap gerrymandering, adopt ranked choice
triblive.com
Article
4898 chars
TribLIVE.com
Rob Richie And David Daley
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 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 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 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 Ac. 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 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→
> 4 weeks
Sep 18, 2021

 
 
 
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The preliminary Boston mayoral results are in, such as they are
msn.com
Article
3969 chars
MSN
BingNews
Black voters had been urged to coalesce around either Campbell or Janey, but this is not an equitable solution. Ranked choice voting would have encouraged all qualified candidates to run.
At the top of the vote tally, a celebration of diversity© Jim Davis/Globe Staff In a photo taken at 10 p.m. on Sept. 14, the giant screen at the gathering for Acting Mayor Kim Janey had not been updated since 8:27, with only a fraction of the vote having been tallied by then.It strikes me as disingenuous to have the Globe front page openly lament the loss of Black candidates in the Boston mayoral preliminary (“In Black community, another letdown,” Sept. 16) when it should be celebrating the person who received the most votes: an Asian American candidate.My husband and I were proud to vote for a mayoral hopeful who not only is a “true” Democrat (and not taking advantage of super PAC money from a Republican donor, as Annissa Essaibi George did from New Balance chairman Jim Davis) but is also a candidate like Michelle Wu.The message to the world is not, “Here they go again” in Boston, but, rather, “Wow, Boston — what a symbol to mitigate against the anti-Asian hate these days.”We look forward to voting again for Wu in November, because, after all, we’ve been let down for decades with the lack of diversity in the mayor’s office.Rich WestNorth EndYet another argument for ranked-choice votingIn her article “In Black community, another letdown,” Stephanie Ebbert noted that the Black community in Boston wonders what went wrong in the preliminary mayoral election. Two Black women candidates — Andrea Campbell (21,221 votes) and Kim Janey (20,946) — together received more votes than anyone else, but no Black mayoral candidate will be in the general election. Although John Barros placed a distant fifth, his 3,436 votes might have lifted either Campbell or Janey to the general election. Black voters had been urged to coalesce around either Campbell or Janey, but this is not an equitable solution. Ranked-choice voting would have encouraged all qualified candidates to run, and as the tallies of the lowest-performing candidate were then awarded to the second choice of each of those voters, it is likely that a Black candidate would have won a place in the November face-off, perhaps more accurately reflecting the will of the voters.Jane SiegelBostonThe writer is a member of the Ward 4 Democratic Committee.Big money intrudesSneaker king Jim Davis’s $495,000 boost to the campaign of mayoral candidate Annissa Essaibi George should be viewed as yet another act of maneuvering for power, should she get elected (“Big outside money making bigger mark,” Commentary, Shirley Leung, Page A1, Sept. 16). After all, Davis generously supported Donald Trump with his money, and perhaps he got what he wanted, never mind the ruin that that presidency wreaked on our lives and its lingering assault on democracy.Peter KingsleyMarbleheadTrump supporter’s backing could backfire for Essaibi GeorgeThe support of Annissa Essaibi George by Jim Davis, chairman of New Balance, is a double-edged sword. Sure, money helps fund campaign advertisements, but money from a big Trump supporter is tainted. Michelle Wu should follow the strategy of Governor Gavin Newsom, victorious in California, by linking Essaibi George to Trump. Boston is heavily Democratic, and the thought of a candidate with approval from Trump supporters is a call to action and a vote for Wu.Jim NortonHull MORE→
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Sep 17, 2021

 
 
 
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Scrap gerrymandering, adopt ranked choice
thesuntimes.com
Article
519 chars
The Sun Times
Rob Richie
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
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→
> 4 weeks
Sep 17, 2021
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