What is ranked-choice voting and why does it matter? – Seattle, Washington

Seattle, Washington 2021-07-18 08:00:00 –

Recently, the King County Council has implemented a new voting system known as ranked voting for official elections in the county, including King County Councilors, King County Prosecutors, King County Council members, and King County executives. We discussed the bill. As another person.

This is how it works.

According to King County Council staff Miranda Reskinen, when counting ranked ballots, they start by aggregating the first choices for all ballots. After the first choice on all ballots has been counted, the second count will begin unless the candidate has received at least 50% of the votes on the first choice. In that case, the candidate is declared the winner.

If no candidate has more than 50% of the votes cast in the first choice, the candidate with the least votes in the first choice is excluded. Voters who choose excluded candidates are not abandoned, but rather their second choice is counted and aggregated.

The round continues like this until there is a clear majority of winners. After every round, the candidate with the least votes is eliminated, and the ballot that prioritizes the excluded candidates counts the next preferred option.

The system, in theory, aims to select the most accepted candidates for voters. Unlike the current “multiple” voting system, each vote and vote counts in a way that incorporates and reflects the will of each voter, in a more subtle way than our “one or the other” philosophy. .. Current system.

But why is it important?

Rank-selective voting aims to eliminate the zero-sum dynamics of the current voting system. In this system, voting for losing a candidate affects the size and outcome of the entire election and can feel insignificant.

Voting of ranked choices allows voters to rank each candidate according to their preference for each position. Instead of choosing one name to go back above the other, it encourages voters to engage in their thoughts and impressions of each candidate.

Maybe voters have one solid favorite ranked as their number one choice, but they also don’t mind being chosen as their second-choice candidate. Maybe that same voter has a few candidates that they absolutely hate. All of these emotions can be measured with a ranked selection system, and the same emotions are reflected in the election results.

King County Congressman Girmay Zahilay, one of the sponsors of the bill, said he believes that the current “one or the other” electoral system is the source of many political issues and cultures in the United States.

“It creates a negative partisanship and polarization of attacking each other in the hope that different candidates and their supporters will be the only candidates elected,” Zahirei said on July 7. Said at the council meeting.

He said the new system was so popular across the country that it motivated candidates not to alienate potential voters and “camped candidates to everyone, not just their bases.” He said it would help fight the political divisions that are in place.

Zahilay believes that this system encourages the building of a coalition of like-minded candidates rather than toxic combat.

“Imagine you are a campaign volunteer and knocking on the door for a candidate. Voters open their doors sporting someone else. Our current system So the candidate will come at his own expense, so the voter may close the door soon, “said Zahilay. “Under a rank-selective vote with continuous conversation, this voter can continue to support the candidate and hear your opinion for the second-place vote.”

He said the system would facilitate empathy and coalition building, enable more candidates for more competitive elections, and increase turnout.

What is the hesitation?

Councilors do not know the exact cost of introducing an entirely new voting system in the county. However, aggregating these more complex rank-selective ballots through multiple ballots requires a new voting system, voter education, staff, and perhaps more effort.

Councilor Claudia Balducci acknowledged her interest in “evolving” the current voting system, but faced logistical difficulties when New York conducted a rank-selective vote in this year’s mayoral elections. Pointed out.

She suggested workshops on ideas to better understand how it is implemented and implemented before the county gives voters a decision.

Councilor Kathy Lambert said she was worried that the new system would confuse voters. According to a survey of San Francisco’s 2011 ranked mayoral elections, about 27% of ballots are due to “ballot depletion” that occurs when people are confused, uncertain, or leave during voting. Possible and did not rank the last two candidates.

Councilor Reagan Dunn expressed concern about the lack of primaries and the potential for a party to benefit from choosing multiple or single candidates to represent the party. Although the county officer’s position is nonpartisan, Dan said the party is still influencing race.

For now, the council is considering the details and logistics of the system, so for now it has decided to pin the idea.

The King County Council meeting on 20 July will be the last meeting to act under the bill as a “non-urgent” item.

What is ranked-choice voting and why does it matter? Source link What is ranked-choice voting and why does it matter?

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