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Ranked Choice Voting Gaining Support From Left and Right
nwcitizen.com
Article
3692 chars
nwcitizen.com
Letters To The Editor
Newscatcher
Friday, August 6, was the monthly Art Walk in downtown Bellingham. Kit Muehlman and I were asking people to sign up as supporters of ranked-choice voting. We had a couple of little tables, a big banner saying "Ranked-Choice Voting for Washington," lots of handouts, and lots of clipboards with signup sheets. We were standing at the corner of Cornwall and Holly and the banner faced the phalanxes of cars as they swooped down Holly. (I was glad to see lots of bicyclists zooming down that long stretch of coordinated green lights, too. I have to confess that one of my main remaining ambitions is to get a speeding ticket on my bicycle. I figure I may be able to do that coming down Holly. . . .) But, back to the Art Walk. At first, things were a little slow. We had set ourselves up at 5:00, but we learned that people going on the Art Walk don't really come out in numbers until about 6:30. We had planned to stop at 7:00, but things were going so well by then that we decided to stay until 8:00. By then, the number of people walking past our little station really was decreasing – and it was getting cold – a typical Pacific Northwest summer evening. . . . By the end we had gathered the names of 39 new people who support ranked-choice voting. (Note: If ordinary people in the U. S. happen to want what the super-rich want, they usually get it, but public opinion by itself has – literally – no effect on what the people in Congress do. I can get you the study that shows this if you want to see it.) A trio of conservatives came by. They opined at first that ranked-choice voting was a "progressive plot." We were able to tell them that the Local Options Bill in Olympia now has bipartisan support. In deciding to co-sponsor the bill this year, Representative Jim Walsh (R) from Aberdeen said he wanted to "mix things up." His belief is that it will give access to minorities of all sorts – maybe even some unexpected minorities, like conservatives in deep blue districts. After hearing Jim Walsh and Republican co-sponsorship those conservatives were pretty interested. Jim Walsh recognizes that ranked-choice voting would mean that progressives in Eastern Washington finally get some representation, too. The Local Options Bill (HB 1156), by the way, would allow local jurisdictions in Washington state to adopt ranked-choice voting if they felt like it. Getting the Local Options Bill passed is the first step toward the general use of ranked-choice voting in all Washington elections. Kit and I even talked with a couple from Maine, who were enthusiastic supporters of ranked-choice voting. They couldn't put their names on our list of supporters, but it was fun to talk to people from the state that is leading the rest of the country in adopting this way of voting. Maine uses ranked-choice voting for all its state and federal elections – and has been doing so since 2018. Then there were all the people who didn't already know about ranked-choice voting but were willing either to listen to our brief pitch or to take one of the handouts that explain it. They usually didn't put their names on our list there and then. They needed a little time to digest the idea, and that's reasonable enough. Next time, they are likely to sign up. There are more and more people for whom the idea is familiar – and who want to see it come to be. Go to www. fairvotewa. org if you want to: Stoney Bird has been talking and writing about ranked-choice voting since the sessions of the Whatcom County Charter Review Commission in 2015. Stoney Bird has been car-free for the last 20 years. It's a good way to save money, stay healthy, and have fun when you are going around town. He served [...] MORE→
8 weeks
Aug 26, 2021

 
 
 
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480x360
County Board Work Session – Rank Choice Voting
youtube.com
Video
4:41:37
YouTube
Arlington Tv
BingVideo
> 2 weeks
Oct 6, 2021

 
 
 
0.2%
Clearwater drops ranked choice voting referendum
news.yahoo.com
Article
2325 chars
news.yahoo.com
Newscatcher
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> 1 week
Oct 8, 2021

 
 
 
2.1%
Ranked Choice Voting Solves Problems in Texas
newsweek.com
Article
5026 chars
Newsweek
Newscatcher
Texas' 6th district has a new member of Congress. It's Jake Ellzey, who recently defeated Susan Wright in a competitive runoff election for the seat formerly held by Wright's late husband, Ronald. Many national observers followed this race as a test of Donald Trump's sway among GOP voters. Trump and the conservative Club For Growth endorsed Wright, while former Texas governor—and Trump energy secretary—Rick Perry backed Ellzey. Yet while intra-party intrigue always makes for irresistible headlines, what this contest really illustrates is how unrepresentative runoffs can be—and how we need a voter-friendly solution that creates better elections. The best answer would be ranked choice voting (RCV). It provides a much more accurate and representative outcome than an expensive, low-turnout runoff. Just look at what happened in Texas over a two-round runoff—and how many problems ranked choice voting would have helped solve. Instead of calling voters back to the polls a second time, everyone could have cast their ballot at once, with RCV working as an "instant runoff." Voter turnout in the decisive vote would have increased, strategic voting declined and the 6th congressional district would have had a representative far faster. Read more Wright and Ellzey led after May's first round in TX-06 and advanced to the runoff as the top-two finishers from a wild 23-candidate jungle primary featuring both Democrats and Republicans. Open seats naturally attract a lot of candidates. Voters should have lots of choices. But when voters have to negotiate a field that massive, a single choice isn't enough to capture the complexity of the situation. Indeed, that choice gets weaponized against them. All of those voters faced a difficult challenge. In a district that Trump only carried by 3 percentage points in 2020, Democrats hoped to push one candidate into the runoff, but with multiple candidates in the field, having additional choices meant dividing their votes among four of the top eight finishers—and ultimately being shut out of the final round. Republicans, with more candidates, had even more fear of casting a "spoiler" ballot. Ranked choice voting would have put an end to those fears and allowed everyone to cast a ballot that truly represented the richness of their perspectives. But it also would have allowed far more voters to have a say in the outcome. Nearly three months later, Ellzey turned that around in the runoff, earning just over 53 percent of the vote to edge Wright. But here's the shocking statistic: Fewer than 39, 000 voters took part in the runoff, a decline of more than 50 percent. That means an even tinier and less representative pool of voters made the final decision. That's a precipitous plummet, but one that's entirely predictable. Runoff elections are almost always low-turnout races, even though taxpayers spend tens of millions to administer them. Read more The political science on this is clear. FairVote studied every primary runoff for Congress between 1994 and 2020, and found that turnout fell in 97 percent of them. That's right. In 240 of 248 elections over 26 years, fewer voters cast ballots in the decisive runoff. The average decline was some 38 percent. In Texas' 99 congressional runoffs in this period, the average decline was even higher at 46 percent. The drop off is steepest in communities of color. States and localities nationwide have adopted ranked choice voting because it's such a useful tool in getting more voters to participate and to determine the winner who best combines wide and deep support. Democrats in New York City just used it to select the party's nominee for mayor. Republicans in Virginia used it this spring to select their nominee for governor and other statewide offices. In Utah, 23 cities chose to use RCV this November for their elections. Citizens in Maine and Alaska brought RCV to statewide races via the ballot initiative, with the Maine legislature adding presidential elections. It's not because it makes elections perfect. It simply makes them better. In New York's mayoral race, RCV came in for criticism because some 15 percent of voters did not back either of the final two choices among their top five rankings. Nitpickers called that an "exhausted ballot." But what's better, having five choices or merely one? Under the old system, any ballot not cast for the winner would have been "exhausted" right away. And as we see in Texas, the problem is not exhausted ballots but exhausted voters. Over half of those who took part in the first round didn't bother coming back for the second. Why not make it easier and conduct both rounds at once? We don't know how many voters in TX-06 would have ranked the final two candidates. But everyone who came out to vote the first time would have had the same opportunity to vote in the runoff. That's a better and more efficient election—and exactly the kind of nonpartisan election reform all voters, and all legislators, ought to get behind. Rob Richie is CEO of FairVote. MORE→
8 weeks
Aug 26, 2021

 
 
 
0.2%

480x360
October 12, 2021 Charter Review Commission Subcommittee- Ranked Choice Voting
youtube.com
Video
0:53:56
YouTube
Clarkcowa
BingVideo
3 days
Oct 18, 2021

 
 
 
0.2%
Ranked Choice Voting in Woodland Hills
youtube.com
Video
0:06:32
YouTube
City Of Woodland Hills, Utah
BingVideo
3 weeks
Sep 30, 2021

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

 
 
 
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Letter: Ranked-choice voting question should wait | Free - ECM Publishers
hometownsource.com
Article
75 chars
ECM Publishers
> 1 year
Aug 13, 2020

 
 
 
4.5%
Elders push back as Wyoming GOP leaders imply ranked choice voting too hard for them to understand
oilcity.news
Article
6751 chars
Oil City News
Opinion
Newscatcher
However, citizens who described themselves as elderly told the Joint Interim Corporations, Elections & Political Subdivisions Committee that they have no trouble understanding how ranked choice voting works. "I'm not confused about ranked choice voting," Johnson County resident Frank Pratt said, saying that he could be considered a member of the "elderly class." He also pushed back against the notion that voters are incapable of researching multiple candidates in order to meaningfully rank them in order starting with their favorite candidate. Sheriden resident Jackie McMann said she could also be considered elderly and that she has no trouble understanding ranked choice voting. "Ranked choice voting is essentially a computerized caucus," McMann said. Both a caucus and ranked choice voting allow people to vote first for their favorite candidate without wasting their vote because that candidate isn't viable. If their favorite candidate doesn't get a high enough percentage of the vote, voters get to have their vote count toward their second favorite candidate. If their second favorite candidate also doesn't get a high enough percentage of the vote, voters get to have their vote count toward their third favorite candidate, etc. McMann noted that people don't have to vote for more than one person in a ranked choice system. They could simply identify their favorite candidate and not indicate who their second, third, fourth or fifth favorite candidate is. She said ranked choice voting would be an improvement over the current "binary" system in which people's votes are all or nothing, for one particular candidate and effectively against all other candidates. McMann acknowledged that the ranked choice system may be more complex than the current system but said that people are living in a "complex society with complex issues" that needs something better than a binary, either-or system in order to function in a robust manner. Wyoming GOP Chair Frank Eathorne, without citing any numbers, said that the "grassroots" among Wyoming Republicans are opposed to ranked choice voting. He said that "grassroots" Republicans instead prefer a concept like runoff primary elections as they want to see a candidate win a majority of the vote in order to win a seat at the levers of power. Carbon County Republican Party Chair Joey Correnti told the committee that he thought members should be cautious about people making claims about the opinions of the over 130, 000 Republicans in Wyoming, especially when they don't cite specific numbers. Correnti said that he is opposed to ranked choice voting as he thinks it "raises more questions than it provides solutions." He said that instead of working to reform primary elections in Wyoming, the legislature should consider whether the state should have any role in primary elections to begin with. He noted that the Republican Party and the Democrat Party are not branches of government and that both should perhaps be responsible for determining their own primary election processes to determine candidates for the general election. Wyoming GOP Vice Chair Dave Holland said that ranked choice voting might be too complicated and that the legislature shouldn't rush to implement it ahead of the 2022 election. Committee Vice Chair Rep. Dan Zwonitzer (Laramie County) said that he thought that the reason the committee was considering the bill at all was because the Wyoming GOP was pushing for changes to how primary elections are conducted in Wyoming by 2022. Holland said that while the party wants change, the push is for runoff primary elections. He said that in his conversations with county clerks, it has become apparent to him that this will not be doable in time for the 2022 General Election. Speaking for himself rather than on behalf of the party, Holland said he'd prefer the legislature take its time and get something like a runoff election system right rather than rushing to get something in time for the 2022 election cycle. "Don't pass something that doesn't work just to meet a deadline," Holland said. Sen. Cale Case (Fremont County) said he thought it might be best for the legislature to leave the election structure alone until the 2022 election cycle is over. However, Case made a motion that the committee pass the draft ranked choice voting bill and approve it for introduction during the full legislature's 2022 session. He noted that he had concerns the concept could be implemented in time for 2022. A representative from the Secretary of State's office told the committee implementing the concept would come with costs and would also require time to change voting systems and ensure they are properly able to handle ranked choice voting, a task which she said is not likely to be feasible in time for the 2022 election cycle. Case said that while there are obvious challenges to implementing ranked choice voting, he thinks it is the "most implementable" option for reforming Wyoming's election structure on the table. He added that he thinks ranked choice voting has advantages over both runoff elections and so-called "jungle" primaries. "This is the wave of the future and it is a good one," Case said, suggesting the committee at the very least keep the draft legislation alive for further debate. Sen. Brian Boner (Converse, Platte) offered an amendment to the draft legislation to make ranked choice voting an option at the municipal level and Zwonitzer amended this amendment to make ranked choice voting an option for special districts as well. Boner argued that trying out ranked choice voting at the municipal level prior to using it in statewide elections could help the state identify problems and improve the structure before tweaking statewide elections. Sen. Charles Scott (Natrona) expressed opposition to the bill, though he said ranked choice voting is "an intriguing idea." Scott said that while he thinks it may have applications among small groups, used for more broard elections could be too confusing to people. MORE→
7 weeks
Sep 2, 2021

 
 
 
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Metro briefs: Bloomington, Minnetonka roll out ranked-choice voting
startribune.com
Article
3281 chars
Star Tribune
ContextualWeb
The west metro cities join Minneapolis, St. Paul and St. Louis Park, which have already implemented the system that allows voters to rank multiple candidates instead of choosing just one. Minneapolis and St. Paul have used the system for years, while St. Louis Park adopted ranked-choice voting in 2018. St. Paul and Bloomington allow voters to rank up to six candidates for each office, while Minneapolis, Minnetonka and St. Louis Park allow voters to rank up to three choices. The five cities represent 16% of votes in the state, according to the organization FairVote Minnesota. MORE→
5 days
Oct 16, 2021

 
 
 
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Easthampton Ranked Choice Voting AD HOC Committee 9/8/2021
youtube.com
Video
1:39:44
YouTube
Easthampton Media
BingVideo
> 5 weeks
Sep 14, 2021

 
 
 
0.2%
Midlands Voices: Ranked choice voting would better serve the public - Omaha World-Herald
omaha.com
Article
90 chars
Omaha World-Herald
> 1 year
Aug 26, 2020

 
 
 
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Will Virginia embrace ranked choice voting?
wdbj7.com
Video
> 22 weeks
May 17, 2021

 
 
 
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September 7, 2021 Charter Review Subcommittee- Ranked Choice Voting
youtube.com
Video
0:24:33
YouTube
Clarkcowa
BingVideo
> 6 weeks
Sep 8, 2021

 
 
 
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Empowering The Voice Of The Middle
swiftcountymonitor.com
Article
Swift County Monitor
Reed Anfinson
Newscatcher
Our candidates are chosen through the primary election process. In the 10 elections conducted in the 21st Century in Minnesota, we have seen a low of 7.42% percent of voters cast ballots in a primary (2016) with a high of 22.77% showing up in 2018. However, the average has been 13.6%. Those who show up are the most dedicated and fervent of supporters. Some would say they are also the most uncompromising. Their stands are passionately, and rigidly, in place. It is these voters who chose our candidate for the general elections. They are the ones who will send elected officials to the Legislature in St. Paul or the halls of Congress in Washington, D.C. Candidates seeking election must first satisfy their base electorate. It is a purity test. Whoever most ardently holds tight to the views of their base will win the primary and make the general election ballot. We all know how bitter, divisive, and ugly the campaigns leading up to election day have become. The barrage of attack ads and sharp personal attacks in debates leave many voters disgusted with the process. Some eventually turn their backs on the election process and check out of participating in our representative democracy. The problem with this system is that it leaves many voters in the middle dissatisfied with their choices. They say they are left to decide between the lesser of two unsatisfactory candidates. There must be a better way to choose our candidates that leaves us with a broader choice, one that includes candidates in the middle, we are told. There is. It is called ranked-choice voting. It’s a process that proponents say ensures that the candidate with the broadest support wins. These same proponents also say that ranked-choice voting leads to more civil campaigns and debates. Candidates don’t want to become unlikeable to the voters in the middle whose ballots they may need. Ranked-choice voting isn’t without its problems. Opponents argue that it can be confusing to voters. They say its complexity causes some voters not to go to the polls. They say that in places where ballots are counted by hand, it creates a greater possibility for errors. And, it may still result in a candidate winning that doesn’t represent the majority of citizens. One other negative, opponents say, is that it is more expensive to have to count ballots multiple times to eventually find a winner if there isn’t a clear first choice in the first round. However, Minneapolis, St. Paul, and several other metro cities are already using ranked-choice balloting. It is used in towns in Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, and Maryland. The State of Maine has used it since 2016. How does ranked voting work? On a regular election ballot, you will see the names of the candidates for each party listed separately. You vote for one choice on the ballot for each race. On a ranked-choice ballot, let’s say there are candidates for the Republican, Democratic-Farmer-Labor (DFL) and Independence parties. What you are asked to do is rank those candidates by your preference. Let’s say the Republican candidate is your first choice, the Independent your second and the DFL candidate your third. You rank the Republican one and the Independent two. With the DFL candidate, you might not want to write in a number, and you are allowed to leave your third choice blank. (On the 2020 Minnesota presidential ballot there were nine parties represented.) With the ranked-choice voting process, a candidate must get more than 50% of the votes to be declared the winner. In our race, let’s say the Republican gets 42%, the DFL candidate 32%, and the Independence candidate 26%. Because no candidate received over 50% of the vote, the last-place candidate’s first-place votes are nullified. The election judges then make that voter’s number two candidate their first choice. That means the Independence Party’s 26% of the votes are broken down between the Republican and DFL candidates. The Republican candidate only needs 8.1% of the second choice votes of those who voted for the Independence Party candidate to win. However, if the DFL picks up 18.1% of the Independence Party votes, giving them 50.1% of the vote, that candidate is the winner. What that vote indicates is the DFL candidate was preferred by more voters overall than the Republican candidate. In some races, there may be more than three candidates, but the process is the same with the voters’ second-place candidate then distributed to the other candidates. One other benefit some see in ranked-choice voting is that it can erase the impact of “spoiler” candidates. These are candidates who could siphon off votes from a majority party candidate. A popular Green Party candidate would take votes away from a Democrat, while a popular Libertarian might take votes from a Republican. A voter can still vote for a favorite candidate. But now, rather than siphon off votes from the majority party candidate, their second-place votes will eventually be the ones counted toward a leading candidate. Again, this process requires the leading candidates to be attractive to a broad swath of voters, not just their base. This same ranked-choice process can be used in primaries. Supporters say ranked-choice voting it will reduce polarization in our politics and society. It is worth considering based on how disgusted many Americans are with the current system. MORE→
> 6 weeks
Sep 8, 2021

 
 
 
1.5%
Do California Elections Need Ranked Choice Voting?
ivn.us
Article
1048 chars
IVN News
Shawn Griffiths
Newscatcher
At a time when ranked choice voting is having a moment, the group is set to officially launch on September 21 during an online Zoom event that is open to the public. Charron explains why more California cities and the state as a whole need ranked choice voting for their elections and the benefits it would bring to bolstering representation across sociopolitical demographics. The goal is twofold: (1) Work toward a statewide ballot initiative, but also to (2) help local RCV efforts in cities across the Golden State. Charron further explains the nonpartisan nature of ranked choice voting, which now has broad support across the political spectrum. Shawn is an election reform expert and National Editor of IVN. us. He studied history and philosophy at the University of North Texas. He joined the IVN team in 2012. Get our exclusive Nonpartisan Reform Report delivered to your inbox twice a month. MORE→
> 5 weeks
Sep 10, 2021

 
 
 
0.4%
Santa Fe gears up for ranked-vote mayoral election
santafenewmexican.com
Article
4007 chars
Santa Fe New Mexican
Sean Thomas
The city of Santa Fe is preparing for its second ranked-choice election and the leader of a prominent local organization is asking officials to offer the public more information on how ballots will be counted. Virgil Vigil, president of Union de Protectiva de Santa Fe, which touts itself as the city’s oldest Spanish cultural organization, recently sent a letter to the City Clerk’s Office that indicates the group believes many voters remain mystified by the ranked-choice system, first used in the 2018 mayoral election. “It’s an anomaly,” Vigil said. “It’s something that people aren’t used to in the first place. It’s hard to change and when you put in place a system like this, people don’t understand it and it discourages people from voting.” Three people — incumbent Alan Webber, City Councilor JoAnne Vigil Coppler and former congressional candidate Alexis Martinez Johnson — are running for mayor of Santa Fe. Under the ranked-choice system, the winner is the first candidate to have a majority of votes — 50 percent plus one vote. That could happen in the first round of counting ballots. But if no candidate collects a majority of the vote, the last-place candidate is eliminated. Voters who had ranked that candidate first have their votes transferred to their next-ranked candidate. In a three-candidate race, the votes would be tallied again in a second “round.” Vigil said he and others are still confused about how voters are tabulated for candidates who weren’t a voter’s first choice. Santa Fe voters approved ranked-choice voting in 2008, but the system didn’t become operational until a state district judge ordered its implementation. Proponents of ranked choice say it provides a more equitable and less expensive system of voting, while detractors say it’s unnecessarily confusing. Webber was the first mayor elected in the format. City Clerk Kristine Bustos-Mihelcic wrote in an email that while she was not working for the city during the system’s implementation, former City Clerk Yolanda Vigil did “a lot of outreach on this topic,” including hiring a public relations firm, placing ads and sending mailers. She added that under the Local Election Act, the Santa Fe County Clerk will oversee the Nov. 2 election, which also includes several City Council races. “We are planning a variety of outreach efforts from a workshop for candidates, to mailers and ads,” Bustos-Mihelcic wrote, referring to County Clerk Katharine Clark. “We both put money into our budgets to provide voter education. We have been meeting on a regular basis to discuss education for Rank-Choice Voting.” Though Vigil said he’s heard from plenty of Santa Feans who were confused by the system, a 2018 exit survey from the nonprofit election advocacy group FairVote New Mexico indicated a significant number of voters adjusted to the system in 2018. According to the survey, more than 84 percent of respondents found the system to be “not confusing,” while only 6 percent found it to be “very confusing.” Vigil Coppler said more education is “always a good thing” and agreed with Vigil that some voters may not have grasped the ranked-choice format. “There is still a lot of confusion,” Vigil Coppler said. “We don’t often have municipal elections, so it’s a good refresher. Sometimes, people move here and register and then people don’t know how to use it.” She said she sometimes hears requests on the campaign trail for the city to ditch ranked-choice voting. Sascha Guinn Anderson, a spokeswoman for Webber’s reelection campaign, wrote in an email more education is always welcome and hopes the advocates who pushed for ranked-choice voting would help. Anderson disputed any notion Webber’s campaign stood to benefit from ranked-choice voting. “I don’t think there’s any evidence to support that,” Anderson wrote. “I think one of the original purposes of RCV [ranked-choice voting] was to help candidates who weren’t as well known.” MORE→
> 18 weeks
Jun 14, 2021

 
 
 
0%
Lawmakers Push to Delay Ranked-Choice Voting
ny1.com
Video
> 47 weeks
Nov 24, 2020

 
 
 
0%
Arkansas Issue 5, Top-Four Ranked-Choice Voting Initiative (2020) - ballotpedia.org
ballotpedia.org
Article
85 chars
ballotpedia.org
> 1 year
Aug 24, 2020

 
 
 
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Column: Say yes to ranked-choice voting - MetroWest Daily News
metrowestdailynews.com
Article
64 chars
MetroWest Daily News
> 1 year
Aug 1, 2020

 
 
 
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Alaska is moving to ranked-choice voting, US, your state should too
businessinsider.com
Article
69 chars
Business Insider
> 45 weeks
Dec 5, 2020

 
 
 
1.3%
Learn about ranked choice voting at 'Rank Your Beer!' fundraiser Sept. 20
dailyherald.com
Article
2337 chars
Chicago Daily Herald
Letters To The Editor
Newscatcher
The League of Women Voters of Roselle-Bloomingdale will host the annual membership kickoff at the "Rank Your Beer!" fundraising event on Monday, Sept. 20, from 6 to 9 p. m. in the outdoor beer garden at Pollyanna Brewing Co., 245 E. Main St. in Roselle. The evening will include a presentation entitled, "Ranked Choice Voting -- What It Is and Why It Works." Gary Schotz, Speakers Bureau FairVote Illinois, will share his thoughts about why voters like Ranked Choice Voting in the states that have tried it. His brief presentation will be followed by an informal question-and-answer session with League members and guests. Andrew Szilva, president of FairVote Illinois, also will join for the evening. As part of the event, the League will conduct a "mock election" using a flight of four Pollyanna craft beers. Attendees will taste their beers and use FairVote's rankit. vote to tabulate the voting rounds and publish results of the ranked choice beers. New York City is the 22nd jurisdiction to use Ranked Choice Voting and the learning curve is flattening quickly as more states, counties, and municipalities implement it around the country. FairVote is currently working to bring Ranked Choice Voting to Evanston, Illinois. Set aside Monday, Sept. 20, to join the League for the Fall Membership Kickoff and learn how Ranked Choice Voting works in a unique and fun way! The cost for this Fall League fundraising event is $25 and it includes one flight of four different beers and appetizers. Formed in 2012, the League of Women Voters of Roselle/Bloomingdale provides information on topics that impact our local, state, and federal government. The League works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy. With over 100 years of experience and having grown to more than 800 local and state affiliations, the League is one of America's most trusted grassroots organizations. The League does not support, endorse or oppose political candidates. Membership in the League is open to people ages 16 and older. For more information on the League of Women Voters of the United States, visit www. lwv. org, or the League of Women Voters of Illinois, visit www. lwvil. org. Learn more about rank choice voting by visiting FairVote Illinois at www. fairvoteillinois. org. MORE→
6 weeks
Sep 9, 2021

 
 
 
0.7%
County Board Candidates Talk Ranked-Choice Voting
arlnow.com
Article
8532 chars
ARLnow
Newscatcher
Ranked-choice voting is supported by all four candidates for County Board, according to their comments at an Arlington Committee of 100 candidate forum held last night (Wednesday). The event was the first candidate forum of the fall general election season. Support is strong among the three independent candidates — Audrey Clement, Mike Cantwell and Adam Theo — who want to unseat Democrat incumbent Takis Karantonis. He won a special election in 2020 and his seat is now up for a full four-year term. Theo, a Libertarian, is the most recent addition to the ballot after officially launching his campaign this week. While all four support ranked choice voting, the reform would not be ready for the upcoming Nov. 2 election, as the county is still hammering out the logistics of the system. Dismayed at the pace of implementation, the independents said the reform would reveal public support for candidates like them and add political diversity to the County Board. "I've spent a lot of my free time promoting ranked choice voting in Virginia," said Cantwell, who became the vice president of Fair Vote Virginia, which advocates for ranked choice voting in Virginia, in 2019. "I went to Richmond in February 2020 and lobbied to bring it to Virginia. At that time, to the surprise of many, the legislature passed bills 506 and 1103, which allowed it in [Arlington] and the rest of Virginia. Since that time, [the county has] taken very little action to implement that new law." Theo also criticized the lack of movement on implementing the new voting system and educating voters about it. "It would've been awesome to have the logo-picking determined by ranked choice voting," he said. "That would've been a great way to educate the public. Here we are, waiting for the county to proceed and provide results. I have a lot of skepticism for the County Board's real willingness to push forward real reform. It puts their own positions, jobs, in jeopardy." Karantonis said he is on the record supporting ranked-choice voting and voted to fund an initiative to test it out. "I put money where my mouth is," he said. "I think this is a great improvement in democracy." During the forum the four candidates articulated their positions housing and on Arlington County's goal of carbon neutrality by 2050. Both Karantonis and Theo said "affordable housing" is the biggest issue facing Arlington. "I've been a housing advocate from day one," Karantonis said. "The first thing my wife and I experienced [when moving here] was not being able to find housing, not having choices… Arlington is a community that looks back to a solid record of planning carefully for housing, of matching development with assets like transportation, schools and natural resources. We need to bundle these to support the creation of new housing choices because displacement is a real thing." "[Housing affordability] poses the problem of pricing out the elderly, low-income, immigrant and disabled people who are clinging on as it is already," he said. "The number of housing units built in this county is horrifyingly low." But he took a jab at the County Board for talking about affordable housing and posing for photos at new developments, while not doing more to prioritize affordability. He spoke favorably of the Missing Middle Housing Study, a county-led effort to see if single-family home areas should be rezoned for more types of moderate-density homes, as a means to increase housing options for the middle-class. Cantwell said he worries about affordability both in terms of housing and taxes. "I think the biggest problem facing Arlington is runaway spending and taxes and lack of accountability in county government, [which] stems from lack of political competition," Cantwell said. "I'm for affordable housing, but I question the outcomes of $300 million spent on a government-run affordable housing program… I think most Arlingtonians are interested in finding a market rate affordable housing place to live in, but not that many are interested in being part of government run program, where they have to submit tax returns, W-2s [and other] bureaucracy." "A far better solution is to repurpose unrented luxury units in the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor to moderate income housing," she said. (A subsequent NYU study found little link between neighborhood gentrification and displacement of low-income residents, at least in New York City.) Another point of agreement? Skepticism that Arlington will be carbon neutral by 2050, a goal outlined in the 2019 Community Energy Plan. "I don't think we're in a place where we will achieve the goal of carbon neutrality by 2050," Karantonis said. "For me, it's very important to make it a whole-government action item… I do believe all new construction should be benchmarked to actually be compliant in a reasonable time horizon. It's very frustrating, site plan after site plan, to extract benefits from developers at a pace that I'm not very satisfied with." Cantwell said he wants to see high school students using public transit, which would increase ridership and teach the next generation to use transit. He also reiterated his support for expanding the county auditor's office. "Part of the reasoning is to see if the money that they spend is actually resulting in outcomes they desire. Many programs sound good but don't produce results they're aimed at," he said. Clement said the goals of the CEP are "prescriptive rather than pragmatic," and won't come to pass as long as Arlington is powered mostly by Dominion Energy and Washington Gas, and as long as Virginia isn't passing stringent mandates requiring the utility companies increase their production of renewable energy, also known as a renewable energy portfolio standard. "I will stop misleading the public about the potential of being net zero by 2050, and instead lobby legislature to adopt a mandatory renewable energy portfolio standard and authorize municipalities to enter into power-purchase agreements with third parties," she said. Theo emphasized switching the county's vehicle fleet over to electric vehicles and using public-private partnerships, such as the program that the county uses to match businesses looking to go solar with private funds willing to support the investment. He also lauded the joint Arlington-Amazon solar farm. School Board candidate Mary Kadera, meanwhile, fielded questions from committee members about ways Arlington Public Schools can collaborate with county government, ways APS can improve outreach to non-English-speaking families, as well as systemic racism and special education. Her opponent, Major Mike Webb, was not present. Kadera, who received the Democratic endorsement, offered a slew of ideas, from having middle and high school students ride public transit and co-locating county and school facilities to accommodate growth, to using text messages and holding forums at churches and other community hubs to reach non-English speaking families. When it came to special education, she said APS has the right tools but isn't implementing them in every school equally: "We have to standardize this, and hold school leaders accountable." To combat systemic racism, she urged the use research-based curricula to reduce academic gaps along racial and ethnic lines while incorporating culturally-relevant teachings to keep kids engaged. "I hope that what you appreciate is that I live and breathe for public education," she said. "I'm excited to bring fresh thinking to the School Board and share my ideas with fellow members and district leadership." Nov. 2 is Election Day, with polls in Virginia open from 6 a. m. to 7 p. m. Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) Click to share on Print (Opens in new window) Celtic House Irish Pub on Columbia Pike says it "does not wish to embroil itself" in the ongoing saga involving a local TikTok personality. The bar released a statement on… Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) Click to share on Print (Opens in new window) Mark your calendar for Sunday, Nov. 7. The annual PNC Parkway Classic, hosted by Pacers Running, is back. Run the streets of Old Town and enjoy views of the Potomac. Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) Click to share on Print (Opens in new window) A now-former Arlington elections official is facing charges after police say she improperly removed someone from the voter roll. Tyra Baker turned herself in on August 26, according to Arlington… Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) MORE→
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