Sunday, June 07, 2009

Port and Tacoma Schools Should Ask for Cut in Election Expenses

The Port of Tacoma and the Tacoma School District should ask the Pierce County Auditor to use Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) to elect their Port Commissioners and School Board members this November and skip the August primary to save money for the workers and the kids. Without a change in elections procedures, the Port will be out about $350,000 and the Tacoma Schools will be billed about $100,000. This is money better spent on workers salaries and supporting kids education.

Pierce County itself will be using RCV to elect its new Auditor. So despite there being three candidates in the Auditor race, there will be no August election for the county. RCV folds the primary and general elections into one election in November. The Port Commissioner Position #1 has three candidates (Bernardo Tuma, Connie Bacon and Bill Casper) and the Tacoma School Board Position #2 has six candidates (Jerry Thorpe, Catherine Ushka-Hall, Connie Rickman, Amy Bates, Chris Van Vechten, and Deb Blakeslee).

Using the current set of rules, these races will require an election in August for these positions and the Port and School District will be sent bills for holding these elections. If the Port and the School District were to change to RCV, they would not participate in the August election and would not receive a bill for that election.

As soon as possible, the Port Commission and the School Board should petition the Auditor's office to use RCV to elect their officials this year. This would save the Port and School Board important dollars in this difficult financial year which has seen lay-offs throughout the county.

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