Friday, February 09, 2007

Senate Bill 6000: IRV for cities and local taxing entities

Recently introduced Senate Bill 6000 would allow cities and local taxing entities (such as school districts, park districts and fire districts) to use ranked choice voting such as Instant Runoff Voting (IRV). This bill gives these entities the choice. It is not a mandate.

This bill is specifically aimed at local jurisdictions in Pierce County where the County Auditor is already working on acquiring the software required to count IRV ballots. It would not be expected that these entities would be able to make the shift until the 2009 elections.

This bill does NOT affect state or federal level elections. As a result, we expect the House companion bill to go to the Local Government Committee of the House for review. The House companion bill will be getting its number on Monday or Tuesday of the coming week.

The bill would allow these jurisdictions to eliminate their primaries and save the cost of that election. The aggregate cost of the last primary for these jurisdictions was $650,000, so the potential cost savings are substantial.




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