Pierce County Election Results 2009
The results from this year's election in Pierce County had a good Ranked Choice Voting race, but had RCV repealed by the voters.
In the RCV special election for Auditor, Julie Anderson received 49% of the first choices in a three-way race with sitting Auditor Jan Shabro and gladfly Will Baker. Baker came in third place and Anderson went over 50% in the second round. All of this was done in one election with no primary. The only glitch was that the Elections Department put the RCV race on a separate ballot card, thus driving up expenses for the county. But we had more candidates on the ballot in November and we saved the expense of holding a primary.
Unfortunately, there was also a measure on the ballot to repeal RCV in Pierce County. This measure passed by a large majority. It appears as if the Election Department's poor implementation soured the voters on RCV to the point, they did not want to use the system any more.
The Elections Department far over spent on systems implementation and blamed RCV for the high expenses. The Elections Department did not look for ways to leverage the investment in RCV software/hardware and thus ended up costing the county more money. The Elections Department did a poor job of educating the voters as to the benefits of RCV in terms of more candidates in November and eliminating the primary. The Elections Department understaffed the polls in 2008 and blamed the long lines at the polls on RCV.
We are disappointed especially since Anderson would have worked hard to reduce expenses and educate the voters on the benefits. Having an Auditor who wanted to make RCV work would have been a real benefit to the voters.
We want to thank everyone who supported the campaign to keep RCV in Pierce County. Your support was wonderful.
On a related front, charter amendments to extend the term limits of members of the County Council from two terms to three terms and to move the election of various county level offices from odd-numbered years to even-numbered years appear to both be failing. The failure of these two amendments, interestingly, will result in some competitive races for county council in 2010 since all three county council members who terms are expiring then will be term limited out of office.