McCarthy's Progress Report on Implementation of Ranked Choice Voting
Pierce County Auditor Pat McCarthy provides a good progress report to the public on her plan for implementing ranked choice voting in Pierce County. She does a nice job of updating the public and noting the upcoming changes to county level voting.
She notes her oft-stated goal of implementing a sustainable ranked choice voting procedure. She did not repeat San Francisco's Director of Elections John Arntz comments that he was impressed with both the amount time given to implement ranked choice voting and how McCarthy is using the time to her advantage. Arntz was impressed by the planning done by McCarthy, her elections team and the Blue Ribbon Review Panel.
Carolyn Merrival wants to wait for implementation of ranked choice voting. McCarthy is planning on using her existing vendor's software for implementing ranked choice voting. This software allows voters to list their first three choices, but if there are more than four candidates this means they can not rank all of the candidates. (Note: If there are four candidates and the voter lists their first three choices there is an implied fourth rank.)
McCarthy is making a practical choice on this one. While I would prefer to be able to rank all of the candidates, being able to rank three candidates is very preferable to being restricted to ranking only one candidate as our current system does.
Further, the vast majority of the races will have four or fewer candidates in the race. Pierce County has had a history of remarkably few candidates on the ballot. Merrival's concerns are not well founded and McCarthy's elections decision will result in a better election in 2008.
Having said that, I would encourage McCarthy to push her software provider to write software for the 2010 election which will allow voters to rank all of the candidates.