Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Secretary of State's office's testimony on Senate Bill 6000

Below is a transcription of Katie Blinn's testimony before the Senate Government Operations Committee on Senate Bill 6000 on February 26, 2007. Blinn was representing the Secretary of State's office on this matter.

In addition, there were some questions of Blinn by the committee members. These questions and her answers will be covered in a separate posting.

Within Blinn's testimony, there are links to comments on her testimony in a separate posting.

Thank you, Madam Chair and members of the Committee. I am Katie Blinn from the Secretary of State's office. I will try to be brief. IRV or Ranked Choice Voting has historically been promoted as a way to make sure candidates are elected with a majority. Current law already allows that for nonpartisan offices because only two candidates go on to the general election. So if there are only two on the ballot, one of them does get a majority.

One of the other reasons why this bill is being promoted is because it relieves jurisdictions from having to pay for a primary, but again current law already allows that when only one or two people has filed for office; (in this situation) there is no primary and just the one or two candidates goes on to the general election, so the jurisdiction does not have to pay for a primary.

We are very concerned about the amount of voter confusion that is going to occur in Pierce County in 2008. Voters there will be voting three different ways during the 2008 election season. They will be voting the traditional method for nonpartisan offices and ballot measures. They will be voting the pick-a-party primary for state and federal partisan offices. And now voting IRV for local partisan offices. And you have heard quite a bit this year about how much voter confusion we already have for the pick-a-party primary.

One of the other concerns is for districts that cross county lines. There are a number of districts that cross county lines into either King County or Thurston County and actually there is a place where Pierce and Lewis actually touch up in the mountains. And, then finally, just logistically a number of sections which seem outside the title.

But, I am sorry, I did not finish my thought with regards districts that cross county lines. In districts, like a school district, part in King and part in Pierce, the voters in King will be voting the traditional way and have a primary and the voters in Pierce will not and that seems a little odd for within the same jurisdiction.

That is all I have.



At 3:29 PM, Blogger Chad Lupkes said...

Oh, this is just pathetic. I've heard from several people within my party that "IRV will destroy the party". My answer is really simple: "Yeah, because the party won't listen to those of us who know how to make it work to our advantage."


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