Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Charter Amendment 4: Delay of Implementation of RCV


Currently the Pierce County Charter provides that Instant Runoff Voting for County elected officials except judges and Prosecuting Attorney shall be implemented by July 2008. This proposed amendment would change the implementation date to July 2010.


No one filed a "for" statement for the voter pamphlet. This will be blank in the pamphlet.


Last November, the citizens of Pierce County expressed their wish to try an alternative to the Pick-a-Party Primary for county level offices by passing a Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) proposal. Amendment 4 delays the deadline for implementing RCV and brings back the Pick-a-Party in 2008. But there is no good reason to delay until 2010. There was no public testimony in favor of delay and the County Council offered no reasons why delay was necessary.

In fact, the Elections Department with input from a broad spectrum of citizens, including the League of Women Voters, has put together a plan for implementation and is ready to proceed with RCV in November 2008.

As voters, we don’t want the Pick-a-Party Primary and we want more election choices. We have already voted in favor of RCV. It is time to put people over politicians. Vote no on delay.

Vote No on Amendment 4.

Richard Anderson-Connolly, Kelly Haughton, James L. Walton

Charter Amendment 7 : Independent and Minor Party Ballot Access


This proposed amendment would eliminate the requirement that minor party and independent candidates need to nominate a candidate according to state law. If passed, this amendment would make minor party and independent candidates subject to the same filing requirements as major party candidates.


Amendment 7 improves voter choice and levels the playing field for independent and minor-party candidates in county-level elections. The Auditor’s Blue Ribbon Review Panel identified a confusing part of the Charter and has recommended this amendment to clarify the ballot-access procedures for independents and minor-party candidates.

Representatives of the political parties and of several community groups from across the political spectrum, serving on the Blue Ribbon Review Panel, all agreed that this clarification improves our process and charter.

Vote Yes on Amendment 7.

Kelly Haughton, Citizens for a Better Ballot
Lyz Kurnitz-Thurlow, League of Women Voters of Tacoma-Pierce County
James L. Walton


No one filed an "Against" statement. This part of the statement will be blank.

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Saturday, August 11, 2007

North Carolina towns to try IRV

Hendersonville and Cary, North Carolina will be using instant runoff voting to elect their city officials this year as part of a pilot project for the state. The state legislature is allowing 10 cities to use instant runoff voting to see how it will work.

Previously, Hendersonville had been running separate runoff elections after the general election. This new system will allow Hendersonville to save the cost of the additional election.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Pierce County experiments with Instant Runoff Voting

David Ammons, the AP political writer for the state, writes about our experiment in Pierce County. This article was published in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, the Bellingham Herald, the Olympian and the Tri-City Herald. The article does a nice job of describing the system and the motivation of the various proponents and opponents.

One of the current and past opponents, Representative Sam Hunt (D-Olympia), does not see there is a problem with our current election system. He is quoted as saying IRV is fixing a problem which does not exist. I guess the pick-a-party primary must be popular in Olympia.

Representative Hunt, voters in Pierce County do not like the pick-a-party primary and want to try alternatives. Indeed, the pick-a-party primary is unpopular throughout the state. Instant runoff voting gets us back as close as possible to our beloved blanket primary. Politicians make not like this idea, but voters likely will.

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Saturday, August 04, 2007

2007 Primary Waste of Money

The August 2007 primary ballot for Gig Harbor residents has one (1) race for Port Commissioner on it. If the Port District was using ranked choice voting to elect its commissioners, the Port and the County could have saved the entire cost of the August primary for the Gig Harbor area and many others. Postage, printing, poll workers, etc. would be saved.

During the 2007 legislative session, the legislature considered SB-6000 which would have allowed local jurisdictions in Pierce County to use Instant Runoff Voting (or Ranked Choice Voting) to elect their officials. My primary ballot is a good example of why the legislature should pass SB-6000 during the 2008 session.

Pierce County is in the process of acquiring the software to run ranked choice voting elections. The more times we use this software, the more cost effective it becomes. This primary gives us an example of the potential cost savings if we extend the usage of ranked choice voting.

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Peninsula Daily News article on Clallam County Charter Review

The Clallam County Charter Review Commission has proposed six charter amendments to the voters. One of them is to implement ranked choice voting in Clallam County.

Clallam County could become the second county in the state of Washington to use instant runoff voting or ranked choice voting to elect their county level officials.