Thursday, October 25, 2007

Citizens for a Better Ballot recommendations

See below for recommendations on Pierce County Charter Amendments by Citizens for a Better Ballot.

The Tacoma News Tribune endorses No on Charter Amendments 4 and 5 as well as Yes on Charter Amendments 6 and 7. If the voters reject Amendments 4 and 5 and pass Amendments 6 and 7, Pierce County will have a very strong set of laws for implementing Ranked Choice Voting.

Instant Runoff Voting helps with low turnout elections

In North Carolina, local election races hold separate runoff elections if no candidate receives a majority in the first go around. The paper in Fayetteville, North Carolina, the local paper opines that Instant Runoff systems will eliminate the need for low turnout runoff elections and hence save money.

In Washington, if we allowed local jurisdictions to use IRV, they would eliminate the need for a primary instead. Still, eliminating an election would save money.


Sarasota Herald Tribune endorses Instant Runoff Voting

The voters of Sarasota, Florida are considering a city charter amendment which would change the election of local officials to use Instant Runoff Voting. The local paper, the Sarasota Herald Tribune, has endorsed the idea.


Coverage of Recent IRV Election in Cary, North Carolina

On October 9, 2007, the little town of Cary, North Carolina held its first ever Instant Runoff election. One of the local papers declares the event a success.


Monday, October 15, 2007

Citizens for a Better Ballot and Tacoma News Tribune agree

Citizens for a Better Ballot, a group formed to promote election reform in the state of Washington, and the Tacoma News Tribune have weighed in on several of the charter amendments related to election reform before Pierce County voters this November.

Both have recommended

No on #4
No on #5
Yes on #6 and
Yes on #7.

Amendment #4 would delay implementation of Ranked Choice Voting until 2010. So far, no one has expressed out loud a reason why we should delay implementation. Pierce Auditor Pat McCarthy has declared that her department is going to be ready to go in 2008 and wants to implement in 2008. No one filed a "for" argument for this amendment for the voters pamphlet. No reason for delay. The voters passed this law in 2006 and want to see the county move forward with this experiment in voting, viewed by many as an alternative to the hated pick-a-party primary. Vote No on #4.

Amendment #5 would allow the Auditor to use a three ranking system in 2008, but would require Pierce County to stick with three rankings even if there were improvements in technology to allow voters to rank all candidates at some future point in time. Amendment #6 is superior since it allows the Auditor to implement technology enhancements as they become available. Vote No on #5.

Amendment #6, as mentioned above, would allow the Auditor to use a three ranking system in 2008, but would allow future improvements as technology changes. This is superior due to its flexibility. This amendment has no opposition. Vote Yes on #6.

Amendment #7 levels the playing field for independents and third parties. Think of it as an equal protection clause for independents. This is a good thing for democracy. This amendment was put forth by the Auditor's Blue Ribbon Review Panel on Ranked Choice Voting and is supported by the Auditor herself. This amendment has no opposition. Vote Yes on #7.