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GNews ranked choice voting Guest column: Ignoring the role of ranked-choice voting cost Gideon Senate seat John Swinconeck Press Herald 2020-11-25 the media were still for the most part in the grip of “thinking plurality,” not “thinking majority. Why did Susan Collins win? Just as relevant, why did Sarah Gideon lose? I offer these observations. Joshua Rogers made a good argument in The Times Record Opinion page on Nov. 11 ( “The incumbency factor in Maine” ). He said it was Collins’ incumbency that made the difference. I further note that Collins was used to winning by a big majority. She and her people from the get-go were “thinking majority.” Why is this important? They faced an obstacle: ranked-choice voting (RCV). It brought into play new rules. The winning candidate must get a majority of the total vote. Winning just a plurality would not suffice. Republican Bruce Poliquin’s 2018 defeat by Democrat Jared Golden in Maine’s 2nd Congressional District was a stunning message. In addition to the provision of “must-have majority,” RCV also provides that each voter has the opportunity to vote their preferences among all the candidates, not just the top two. The preferences on the ballots of third-place finisher Tiffany Bond went to Golden, boosting him to majority of the total vote, defeating the incumbent Poliquin. This message was all the more reason for Collins and her people to push extra hard to win that majority in the general election, thus bypassing resort to second place preferences. They pushed hard and won. Almost miraculously for them, the press treated the race as just a shoot out between Collins and Gideon, ignoring RCV. It seems the media were still for the most part in the grip of “thinking plurality,” not “thinking majority.” Gideon got caught up in thinking the same way. This became especially clear when she joined Collins in the “secret” exclusive debate put on by Portland’s WMTW-Channel 8 on the Friday before the coming election Nov. 3. She could have and should have insisted that the two Independents be included, Lisa Savage and Max Linn. This was to her interest because the second place preferences on their ballots were a factor in a tight race. Seating Savage was not only the right thing to do, but the preferences on those ballots, especially those of Savage, could be decisive. By denying their presence in the debate, the TV station was going against the intent and provisions of the RCV law. By agreeing to exclude the independents together with their ballot preferences both Collins and Gideon bowed to this palpable irregularity. They all ignored or bypassed two closely related provisions of the relevant RCV law: that the winning candidate must reach a majority and that the second place preferences of the ballots of Savage and Linn are potential votes. It was premature to assume four days before the election that the second place preferences on their ballots were irrelevant. If Lisa Savage had been given her rightful standing in the debate, she could have and probably would have focused hard on the ballot preferences and on the majority principles of RCV. She would have four days of strong campaigning to turn heads and increase both her ballot totals and the second place preferences for Gideon on those ballots. This may have given Gideon the boost to majority and victory. Putting such speculation aside, it is clear that Gideon missed her chance. She and her people were immersed in first-past-the post, plurality thinking. Collins got the benefit. Lisa Savage and her team protested her exclusion. In strong numbers, they petitioned the TV station. It was rejected. They might have, could have, and should have taken a next step. They should have brought into focus the material relevance of RCV, the law under which the entire election was conducted. Readers may ask what was my role, noting my deep and direct involvement in the Green Party from its beginning. I was absent. In mid-September I was struck by a virulent tick, hospitalized for three weeks followed by five weeks REHAB to launch my recuperation. I missed the election, but have thought about it a lot. John Rensenbrink is a professor emeritus at Bowdoin College and is co-founder of the U.S. and Maine Green parties. MORE→ image https://www.pressherald.com/2020/11/25/guest-column-ignoring-the-role-of-ranked-choice-voting-cost-gideon-senate-seat - - -
Newscatcher ranked choice voting Queens lawmakers to host virtual ranked choice voting seminar By Carlotta Mohamed QNS.com 2020-11-25 Assembly members Nily Rozic and Daniel Rosenthal will be partnering with Common Cause NY to host a virtual ranked choice voting seminar on Thursday, Dec. 3, MORE→ Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York City Assembly members Nily Rozic and Daniel Rosenthal will be partnering with Common Cause NY to host a virtual ranked choice voting seminar on Thursday, Dec. 3, at 5 p.m. Ranked choice voting will begin in Queens next year with the Feb. 2 special election for the District 24 City Council District seat. “New York is making strides in implementing voting reforms, but with that comes the need to educate and inform voters,” Rozic said. “With the February special election around the corner, teaming up with Common Cause and Assemblyman Rosenthal will provide voters with the knowledge needed for a successful first run of ranked choice voting in NYC.” Rozic and Rosenthal will be joined by Susan Lerner, director of Common Cause, which has been dedicated to empowering and protecting the voice of the people in the political process by promoting equal rights, opportunity and representation for all. Lerner will provide voters with a breakdown of how ranked choice voting works and what to expect on Election Day. “New Yorkers deserve elections that lift up our voices, and push candidates to campaign better,” Lerner said. “Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) is the simple solution that puts power back in the hands of the people where it belongs.” Ranked choice voting was overwhelmingly approved by voters last year as an amendment to the City Charter. New York City will be the first municipality in the state to use this voting method for City Council, borough president and citywide races. Under ranked choice voting, voters will have the option to rank up to five candidates in their order of preference. This new system is intended to eliminate costly runoffs and encourage candidates to broaden community outreach throughout their campaigns. “In the wake of our recent election, it is evident that New Yorkers deserve more from our voting system,” Rosenthal said. “As we stand poised to implement the state’s first ranked choice voting program, it is vitally important to ensure that our communities are informed and well positioned to exercise their rights.” MORE→ image https://qns.com/2020/11/queens-lawmakers-to-host-virtual-ranked-choice-voting-seminar - - - - -
GNews ranked choice voting Zirpoli: Ranked-choice voting among election’s many ballot initiatives | COMMENTARY baltimoresun.com 2020-11-25 The open primary in Alaska will eliminate party primary elections and replace them with a state-wide, open primary for anyone interested in running. The top four candidates of this general primary ... MORE→ Unfortunately, our website is currently unavailable in most European countries. We are engaged on the issue and committed to looking at options that support our full range of digital offerings to the EU market. We continue to identify technical compliance solutions that will provide all readers with our award-winning journalism. MORE→ image https://www.baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll/opinion/cc-op-zirpoli-112520-20201125-xidojwfc55bxvgunmaswcnzwty-story.html - - - - -
Newscatcher ranked choice voting Arlington and ranked-choice voting - Your View - YourArlington.com Publisher > YourArlington.com - Your news, your views 2020-11-24 Community-news and opinion website whose aim is to inform and to involve the citizens of Arlington, Massachusetts, in reporting about their community. MORE→ John Ward, an Arlington resident, wrote this letter. The idea of ranked-choice voting detracts in several ways from our democratic system -- that the one with the most votes wins the election. As the number of registered voters who actually vote in town elections continues to decline, we now have people being elected by less than 25 percent of the registered voters. Using ranked choice would only exacerbate that number and put an individual in office with even less of a percentage. It allows an election committee to arbitrarily float votes from one candidate to another which is an abomination to our right to vote. A better solution would be to demand that an elected office be left vacant until they receive 51 percent of the actual number of registered voters. A runoff would be mandatory, and the consequence would force more people to vote or else eliminate the "elected" office until the public takes it seriously. The current status of elections is very tenuous and getting progressively worse. Fabricating vehicles to "create" a winner is just a very bad idea. This letter was published Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2020. MORE→ https://www.yourarlington.com/easyblog/entry/70-letters/2890-choice-112420.html - - - - -
Newscatcher ranked choice voting Ranked Choice Voting Remains an Uphill Battle in New York Jackson Wang Spectrum News 2020-11-24 Ranked choice voting was recently rejected by voters in Massachusetts, while narrowly approved in Alaska. MORE→ When it comes to running for public office, it can get pretty nasty during the election. According to Dave Heller, sometimes it is more mudslinging than issue-based campaigns. “If you’re not voting for what you want, you’re not speaking your true mind,” said Dave Heller, the director of Ranked Choice NY. What You Need To Know Alaska just became the second state after Maine to start using ranked choice voting in state elections The measure was adopted in New York City last year Advocates hope to educated and push for ranked choice voting on the local level It’s a group that’s advocating for ranked choice voting in New York state, and a way that Heller believes could make candidates focus more on the issues. Also known as an instant runoff, the system asks voters to rank their candidates as their first, second, or third choices. “The other benefit too is because as a candidate, you’re trying to get other candidate’s second choice votes,” Heller said. A candidate has to receive the majority of the votes to be declared a winner. If that doesn’t happen after the first round, the last place candidate is eliminated and then those votes are redistributed. This process continues until there’s a winner. “If no one gets 50 percent, then you look at the number twos, and you see if there’s a majority there and if there is, then you call a winner,” said Blair Horner, New York Public Interest Research Group executive director. He says New York City adopted it for their primary to save time and costs due to frequent runoffs. But statewide, that’s whole another challenge. Horner says politically it’s tough to ask winners to change the rules in a system they succeed in. “Part of it is also the complexity for voters, to explain to them a new system in place,” Horner said. He says that was the argument leading to its defeat in Massachusetts recently. Meanwhile, voters in Alaska just narrowly passed it to become the second state after Maine to adopt ranked choice voting statewide. Heller says they’re going to push for it on the local level, cities, towns, and counties. He hopes this strategy will get more people educated and familiar with it. But Horner and Heller say it also depends on how it works out in the big apple. “That’s half of our state so I’m confident that we can make it happen here,” Heller said. MORE→ image https://spectrumlocalnews.com/nys/central-ny/news/2020/11/24/ranked-choice-voting-in-new-york-state - - -
GNews ranked choice voting Lawmakers Push to Delay Ranked-Choice Voting Gloria Pazmino ny1.com 2020-11-23 Even after the format was approved heavily in a referendum, some city lawmakers are pushing back, saying it may be unfair to non-white candidates. MORE→ It was overwhelmingly approved by voters at the ballot last year, but now there is a push to to delay ranked-choice voting. Once it is implemented, it will mean voters will no longer have to fill out the bubble next to a candidate's name on the ballot. Instead, they will have to rank candidates in order of preference. If no candidate gets a majority, the worst performing candidate is eliminated and his or her votes are redistributed. That process continues until someone gets more than 50% of the vote. Sean Dugar, education campaign program director at Rank the Vote NYC, which played an instrumental role in helping to garner support for the ballot measure, pointed to other municipalities around the country that have successfully implemented the change and in fact elected more candidates of color to public office. "No matter the age of the person participating, no matter the ethnicity of the person participating, no matter their first language, people get it," Dugar said. "It’s simple. It’s just ranking one, two, three, four, five in order of their preference. We already do it everyday." But those pushing for a delay say local agencies have not done enough to educate voters. They say Black and Brown communities will likely be confused and therefore disenfranchised. To make matters worse, they point to the ongoing pandemic as another complicating factor. Those pushing for a delay include Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, who is also running for mayor. Adams said he remains in favor of the system, but said he is concerned there has not been enough voter education to ensure a smooth transition. "To say that Black and Brown folks won’t be able to understand something that everyone else is able to understand has other underlying tones to it," Dugar said. Incoming members of the state legislature are also crying foul, suggesting delaying the change would only undermine the will of voters and keep Democratic machine organizations in control of the process. Ranked-choice voting will be put into effect for the first time next year, during a City Council special election scheduled for February. In a statement, a Board of Elections spokesperson said the agency is "ready to implement ranked-choice voting and begin a public education campaign and poll worker training immediately following the December City Council special election." This week, the City Council’s Black, Latino, and Asian Caucus sent a letter to the City Council Speaker Corey Johnson asking him to delay the implementation of the new system, but it is unclear whether Johnson, who supported ranked-choice voting as a ballot measure, would back any delay. The speaker declined to comment and Councilman Daneek Miller, who co-chairs the caucus and is pushing for the delay, also declined an interview. The city's Campaign Finance Board, which is supposed to educate voters on the new system, said efforts to do just that will be launched next week. MORE→ image https://www.ny1.com/nyc/all-boroughs/news/2020/11/24/lawmakers-push-to-delay-ranked-choice-voting - - - - -
GNews ranked choice voting Push to delay ranked-choice voting Erin Durkin and Anna Gronewold Politico 2020-11-23 There are plenty of reasons why next year’s mayoral election will be an unusual one to say the least: There’s the pandemic, which has largely done away traditional forms of campaigning. MORE→ There are plenty of reasons why next year’s mayoral election will be an unusual one to say the least: There’s the pandemic, which has largely done away traditional forms of campaigning. There’s the fact that for the first time, the primary will be held in June, months ahead of the traditional September date. And then there’s ranked-choice voting, the new system that will ask voters to line up multiple mayoral hopefuls by their order of preference and conduct an automated runoff if no one gets a majority. Now a push is emerging to delay the new balloting system. As our Sally Goldenberg and Joe Anuta report, leading mayoral candidate Eric Adams is backing a delay, saying the more complicated system will be bad for Black and Latino voters. “Everyone knows that every layer you put in place in the process, you lose Black and brown voters and participation,” said the Brooklyn borough president, who previously supported ranked-choice voting. “We can’t disenfranchise those voters.” The City Council’s Black, Latino and Asian Caucus is pushing for the Council to “indefinitely defer” the new system, arguing in a letter to Speaker Corey Johnson that the problem-plagued city Board of Elections has little hope of implementing it competently. And opponents including Kirsten John Foy, who founded the civil rights organization Arc of Justice and previously worked for Rev. Al Sharpton, are considering a lawsuit to block ranked-choice voting. “This is the wrong environment to be upending a known, reliable system — although imperfect — with an unknown, untested and consequently unreliable system,” Foy said. Ranked-choice voting was approved by New Yorkers by a nearly three to one margin last year, and it enjoys strong support from good government groups. Others in the mayoral field continue to back it as well: Scott Stringer said he would oppose any move to halt it, while Maya Wiley was a leader of the push to enact the new system. Assuming no last-minute changes, the system will get its first test in Queens with a City Council special election in February. MORE→ image https://www.politico.com/newsletters/new-york-playbook/2020/11/23/push-to-delay-ranked-choice-voting-cuomos-orders-may-face-supreme-court-test-staten-island-upper-manhattan-eyed-for-new-restrictions-490970 - - -
GNews ranked choice voting Queens Lawmakers To Host Seminar On Ranked Choice Voting David Allen MSN/Patch 2020-11-23 The virtual seminar will take place Dec. 3. New York Assembly Members Nily Rozic, of Fresh Meadows, and Daniel Rosenthal, of Kew Gardens Hills, are partnering with the good-government group Common Cause New York and the political group Rank The Vote NYC to brief Queens voters on the system. MORE→ QUEENS, NY — State lawmakers from Central and Northeast Queens will host a virtual seminar on ranked choice voting, a new system that will debut early next year. New York Assembly Members Nily Rozic, of Fresh Meadows, and Daniel Rosenthal, of Kew Gardens Hills, are partnering with the good-government group Common Cause New York and the political group Rank The Vote NYC to brief Queens voters on the system. The virtual seminar will take place Dec. 3. Attendees are asked to RSVP here. Under ranked choice voting, New Yorkers get to rank their top five choices in city primary races, rather than having to choose just one candidate. If no one candidate gets more than half of the vote, the candidates in last place is disqualified and voters who ranked that person first will instead have their second choice counted. Voters approved the new way of voting in 2019. It will first be put to the test in a special election to fill the seat vacated by City Council Member Rory Lancman earlier this month. The race is scheduled for Feb. 2. NYC’s first run of #RankedChoiceVoting is coming up so @DanRosenthalNYC and I are partnering with @Slerner212@commoncauseny for a seminar on 12/3 to ensure voters are informed and prepared RozicN@nysassembly.gov to RSVP or register here: https://t.co/sUv7RN34mO MORE→ image https://www.msn.com/en-us/autos/news/queens-lawmakers-to-host-seminar-on-ranked-choice-voting/ar-BB1bi1y2 - - -
Newscatcher ranked choice voting Queens Lawmakers to Host Seminar on Ranked Choice Voting Next Week Allie Griffin Flushing Post 2020-11-23 Nov. 23, 2020 By Allie Griffin Two state lawmakers are hosting a seminar to explain ranked choice voting next week as central Queens voters prepare to be the first in New York City to participate in the process. Queens Assembly Members Nily Rozic and Daniel Rosenthal are presenting a virtual seminar on ranked choice voting... Read more » MORE→ on Nov. 23, 2020 By Allie Griffin Two state lawmakers are hosting a seminar to explain ranked choice voting next week as central Queens voters prepare to be the first in New York City to participate in the process. Queens Assembly Members Nily Rozic and Daniel Rosenthal are presenting a virtual seminar on ranked choice voting on Dec. 3 — about a month ahead of the Special Election for the 24th City Council seat on Feb. 2, in which ranked choice voting will be in effect. Under Ranked Choice Voting — which was approved by New Yorker City residents last year — voters have the option to rank up to five candidates in their order of preference. The Feb. 2 Special Election to replace former Councilman Rory Lancman will be the first city election with a ranked choice ballot. The new system will apply to all city elections– from mayoral to council races. Rozic and Rosenthal are partnering with Common Cause, a nonpartisan government watchdog group, for the seminar. Common Cause Director Susan Lerner will explain how ranked choice voting works and what to expect on the ballot. The education is much needed to help Queens voters, Rozic said. “New York is making strides in implementing voting reforms, but with that comes the need to educate and inform voters,” she said in a statement. “With the February special election around the corner, teaming up with Common Cause and Assemblyman Rosenthal will provide voters with the knowledge needed for a successful first run of ranked choice voting in NYC.” The virtual seminar will begin at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 3. Those interested in attending can RSVP here or email [email protected] [email protected] No comments yet MORE→ image https://flushingpost.com/queens-lawmakers-to-host-seminar-on-ranked-choice-voting-next-week - - - - -
Newscatcher ranked choice voting Ranked-choice voting could make a difference Letter to the editor Asbury Park Press 2020-11-23 I’m not sure my family will survive this election...I think ranked-choice voting could make a difference MORE→ Thanks to this presidential election, I understand the Civil War better — at least how families could have family members on both sides of the conflict willing to kill each other over their point of view. I ask myself, “Don’t people raised in the same family share the same values? Or are we doomed to keep destroying families, and friendships over bipartisan polarization? Is there another way?” I ask these things because I’m not sure my family will survive this election or the tensions it is creating. My parents are Republican and my brothers and I are Democrats. Dinner used to be a great time to talk and share news about our days together. Now political debates at the dinner table have turned into tense exchanges about politics, and who won the election. I love my parents but hate the tension. Is there a solution? I think ranked-choice voting could make a difference. Ranked choice allows voters to rank candidates by preference. This means voters submit ballots that list not only their first-choice candidate for a position, but also their second, and third choices. With ranked-choice voting, a voter ranks candidates on a ballot from most favorite to least favorite. After all of the ballots are accumulated, the candidate that gains the most overall support wins the election. Voters no longer have to “Settle for Biden.” By facilitating diverse political input during the election, perhaps America will no longer just be red or blue and my family can enjoy mealtimes again. Andrew Kim MORE→ image https://www.app.com/story/opinion/readers/2020/11/23/ranked-choice-voting-could-make-difference/6354159002 - - -
Newscatcher ranked choice voting The field is nearly set for NYC's first ranked-choice election David Brand Queens Daily Eagle 2020-11-23 The new dynamic should unite coalitions of candidates looking to win over diverse sections of the district MORE→ By David Brand The field is nearly set for New York City’s first test of ranked-choice voting , with 11 candidates submitting their paperwork to run in the Feb. 2 special election to replace ex-Councilmember Rory Lancman. Lancman left office Nov. 3 to take a job in the Cuomo administration, giving candidates until Nov. 18 to file their petitions for the nonpartisan race to represent Central Queens’ District 24. The election will give District 24 voters the chance to rank their top five candidates in order of preference. If no candidate receives 50 percent of the vote, the last-place finisher is eliminated and voters who picked that candidate will have their second choice tallied. That process will continue until one candidate receives a majority of the vote. The new dynamic should unite coalitions of candidates looking to win over diverse sections of the district, Common Cause New York executive director Susan Lerner told the Eagle earlier this month. “In a winner-take-all race, when you talk to a voter and they’ve made up their minds, that’s the end of the conversation,” Lerner said. “In a ranked-choice voting campaign, that’s the beginning of the conversation.” Successful coalitions could transcend traditional blocs in the multicultural, multi-ethnic District 24. There’s a large Orthodox Jewish population in Kew Gardens Hills, including one of the nation’s largest communities of Bukharian Jews. There are various South Asian communities in Jamaica Hills, including many residents who identify as Hindu and Muslim. A predominantly white, moderate electorate dominates the vote in Briarwood and pockets of Jamaica Estates and Hillcrest. The Pomonok Houses feature a larger number of Black and Latino New Yorkers. And the Electchester section adds another wrinkle: the complex houses many members of the IBEW labor union, who have tended to vote as a bloc in favor of the union-endorsed candidate. The candidates’ ideologies run the spectrum from “avowed socialist” to “guy who routinely posts #MAGA on his Facebook page,” but none can claim the Democratic or Republican line. In a special election, candidates must make up their own party names. That means Democratic Socialists of American-affiliated organizer Moumita Ahmed will run on the Mo For The People line, while Republican Committeeman Philip Grillo — the big-time Trump supporter — is running on the Save Our City line. But there may be a twist. Two people familiar with Grillo’s candidacy say he is holding the line for another candidate, Republican attorney Leo Jacobs. Neither responded to requests for comment, but Jacobs was recently profiled in the Bukharian Times . Former Councilmember James Gennaro, a conservative Democrat, is looking to reclaim his old seat by running on the “Queens Strong” line. He remains a popular figure among Orthodox Jewish residents of the district. Small business owner Deepti Sharma is running on the “A Better Queens” line. Higher education executive Dilip Nath chose the “Your Voice Matters” party. Retired psychologist Howard Nieman represents “Law and Liberty.” Three candidates initially filed the same party name: Queens Democratic District Leader Neeta Jain, Jamaica attorney Soma Syed and real estate agent Michael Earl Brown each chose the “Community First” party. But Jain filed first, so she claims that name. Brown abandoned his first petition and submitted a new one designating his party as “United Citizens.” Syed said she will be running on the “Soma for Queens” line. Mujib Rahman is running on the “Unity” line. And Angelo King went with the aptly named “King for Queens” party. The ballot still isn’t set, however. Candidates have a few days to challenge each other’s petitions and knock rivals off the ballot. Whoever wins on February 2 will hop right back on the campaign trail. They must defend their seat in the regularly scheduled party primaries before the November general election for one of 34 open Council seats. They may face an ever larger field come June. At least two other candidates, attorney Stanley Arden and e-commerce consultant Josh Maynard, say they are gearing up for the primary. Assemblymember Daniel Rosenthal is also weighing a run . MORE→ image https://queenseagle.com/all/the-field-is-nearly-set-for-nycs-first-ranked-choice-election - - -
GNews ranked choice voting Alaskans have approved ranked-choice voting. Now what? James Brooks Anchorage Daily News 2020-11-22 'I think it’s exciting. It’s a brave new world for Alaska', Kreiss-Tomkins said. On Wednesday, the director of the Alaska Division of Elections is scheduled to certify the results of this year’s election. When she signs her name, officially declaring that Ballot Measure 2 has become law , it will end almost two years of work and nearly $7 million of effort by campaigners. Only Maine has passed a similar ballot measure, and if that state’s experience is a preview, Alaska’s work is just beginning. “Winning ranked-choice voting was the easiest part. Defending, protecting it was the most challenging part,” said Maine Rep.-elect Kyle Bailey, who since 2016 has directed multiple successful election campaigns in support of ranked-choice voting. Ballot Measure 2 requires Alaska’s election system to be entirely rewritten within two years. Instead of two primary elections — one for Republicans and another for everyone else — all candidates for an office will be put into a single election. The top four vote-getters from that election, regardless of political party, will advance to the general election. In November, voters will rank those four candidates, picking one as their first choice, another as their second, and so on down the list. Ballot Measure 2′s “dark money” provision, which requires additional disclosure for some campaign donations, was advertised heavily by proponents during the election campaign but will be relatively simple. The other changes will not be. Experts, based on Maine’s experience, say Alaskans should expect five kinds of action in the next two years: • The Alaska Division of Elections now needs to write regulations to implement the law. • Opponents and supporters expect lawsuits will challenge the law in court. • Education and marketing campaigns will teach voters and candidates how the new system works. • State lawmakers cannot repeal the measure in the next two years, but they could try to modify it in legislation. • Will the prospect of a new system change actions right now, even before the 2022 election? “Our story, as you talk about the possibilities that you contemplate, we very much went through that,” said Maine Secretary of State Matt Dunlap . Dunlap, appointed by Maine’s Legislature, has supervised Maine’s elections since 2013. He also served in the office from 2005 to 2010. Four years ago, Maine voters approved a ballot initiative that required ranked-choice voting in races for U.S. Senate, U.S. Representative, governor and state legislature. Maine’s measure was written much more vaguely than Alaska’s. It didn’t include a “top-four” primary system or restrictions on “dark money,” as Alaska’s measure does. Almost immediately, the Maine Legislature obtained a legal opinion that the measure was unconstitutional. It passed legislation to delay — and potentially repeal — the measure. That can’t happen here. Article XI, Section 6 of the Alaska Constitution says, “An initiated law becomes effective ninety days after certification, is not subject to veto, and may not be repealed by the legislature within two years of its effective date. It may be amended at any time.” “I think that is a strength that Alaska has, that it has that protection in place for what voters have weighed in on,” Bailey said. Alaska lawmakers could change the proposal, but recent history shows even uncontroversial changes are difficult. In 2016, voters approved a measure that automatically registers Permanent Fund Dividend recipients to vote. The following year, the Division of Elections — with the support of then-Gov. Bill Walker — suggested a technical change that would save $200,000 per year. The bill never passed . In 2014, voters raised the minimum wage, added environmental protections to Bristol Bay, and legalized recreational marijuana. The Legislature struggled to pass a bill creating the Marijuana Control Board and needed two years to create laws that allowed towns and boroughs to opt out of legal marijuana, even though similar laws already existed for alcohol. It isn’t clear what, if any, legislative changes might be wanted or needed by elections officials here. Lt. Gov. Kevin Meyer is the elected official in charge of the state’s elections, and his chief of staff, Josh Applebee, said they have given “no” thought to how the state might implement Ballot Measure 2. “We were focused on completing the primary and general elections,” Applebee said, and Tiffany Montemayor, public relations manager for the Alaska Division of Elections, said that agency has likewise been focused on this year’s elections. Applebee speculated that it could be a “9-12 month process” to draft regulations that implement the measure, rewrite ballots and get new procedures in place. “That seems similar to Permanent Fund Dividend voter registration,” said Sitka Democratic Rep. Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins, a measure supporter who co-chairs an Alaska House committee that took testimony on the measure earlier this year. In Maine, ongoing lawsuits meant officials had just 100 days to prepare before the state’s June 2018 primary, Dunlap said. Those lawsuits came from all directions and were filed soon after the measure was ratified. “We got sued about a dozen times by everybody. We got sued by the proponents. We got sued by the opponents. We got sued by the Democrats. We got sued by the Republicans,” Dunlap said. “You could’ve hurt your knee tripping over a stack of litigation in this office. It all came down in favor of ranked-choice voting.” In Alaska, “everyone assumes there will be litigation,” said Scott Kendall, the measure’s lead author and a chief of staff to former Gov. Bill Walker. It’s widely expected that the Alaska Republican Party will sue. In late June, party chairman Glenn Clary told a legislative committee, “If this initiative passes, I can see the Republican Party establishing a convention primary and petitioning the courts for the freedom of association under the First Amendment of the Constitution.” This fall, the party and traditional Republican donors funded much of the campaign against the ballot measure. Clary did not return phone calls asking whether the party intends to challenge the measure, but the party’s vice chair, Ann Brown, provided a statement by text message: “The view of the Alaska Republican Party is that one problem with one portion of the ballot measure is that it jettisons the American tradition of ‘one person, one vote.’ The ballot measure is lengthy and covers many subjects. Therefore, we are reviewing the matter carefully.” While the Alaska Supreme Court ruled earlier this year that Ballot Measure 2 could be placed on this year’s ballot, it hasn’t said whether the measure itself is legal. In a pre-election forum held by the Alaska Law Review, former Alaska Attorney General Craig Richards examined on a clause in the Alaska Constitution that says, “The candidate receiving the greatest number of votes shall be governor.” While Kendall thinks Ballot Measure 2 follows that clause, Richards doesn’t. “I’m sure the Supreme Court will get to decide that one day if this passes,” he said. Lawsuits could also come after the election. In 2018, Republican U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin sued after losing. A federal judge rejected his lawsuit , leaving Democrat Jared Goldin the winner. Goldin won re-election this year with more than 50% of the vote. In addition to preparing their legal defenses, Ballot Measure 2 supporters are planning a two-year education campaign, Kendall said. When the Division of Elections creates a new ballot, voters will need to know how to use it and candidates will need to know how to campaign. “I think there will be a prolonged process of engagement, discussion, and that starts soon, right after the litigation phase,” said consultant Robert Dillon. He works with the Action Now Initiative, which bankrolled Ballot Measure 2 and could fund a voter-education program. In Maine, ballots are designed with a grid to accommodate ranked-choice voting. Candidates are listed by row, and each column represents first choice, second choice, and so on. The most common question is how to vote for just one candidate, Dunlap said. It’s still an option, and the Maine Republican Party offered an easy explanation . Another thing worth noting, he said, is that many races won’t need ranked-choice voting. If one candidate has more than 50% of the vote, there’s no need to look at second choices. This year, all of Maine’s federal candidates got more than half the vote, which meant there was no need to look at second choices. On election night, Dunlap looks at the unofficial results from across the state. If any race looks to finish without a candidate receiving at least 50% of the vote, ballots and digital voting machines are returned to the state capital. There, the ballots are fed into a scanner and the results are uploaded into an “Excel-like spreadsheet.” A winner is calculated quickly after that. Alaska already has a similar return policy as part of its regular double-checking process. Dunlap said Maine’s Legislature didn’t leave him much of a budget to teach state residents about the system, so he and his communications aide created a simple animation with a cheap online tool, then held town hall meetings across the state, driving from place to place. “Every forum that I went to was standing room only,” he said. It took until this year, the second election cycle under ranked-choice voting, for voters to become familiar with the system, he said, and proponents said the same thing. But is it working? When Maine’s measure became law, backers said it would make politics more civil by forcing elected officials toward the middle. Mark Ellis, a former chairman of the Maine Republican Party, endorsed it for that reason. “I was completely wrong about that,” Ellis said. “The races have just gotten nastier, particularly between the two major parties.” Despite that, he still believes it’s a good system. “The races where it’s applied and triggered, the person can take office knowing they have a majority, and I think that makes a difference with the way they govern,” he said. While the first elections under Alaska’s new system won’t take place until 2022, state lawmakers have said that it has the potential to affect matters immediately. Control of the state House and Senate is undecided, and because Ballot Measure 2 eliminates party-limited primary elections, it reduces the ability of party members to punish incumbent lawmakers who compromise. “I, at least, think that will shape political behavior in Juneau ... because people no longer need to be concerned that a very unrepresentative part of the electorate will have the opportunity to remove them from office,” Kreiss-Tomkins said. The extent to which that holds true remains to be determined. “I think it’s exciting. It’s a brave new world for Alaska,” Kreiss-Tomkins said. MORE→ image https://www.adn.com/politics/2020/11/22/alaskans-have-approved-ranked-choice-voting-now-what - - -
Newscatcher ranked choice voting Benton County Blazes A Trail for Ranked Choice Voting in Oregon Hayat Norimine Sightline Institute 2020-11-21 RCV eliminates the fear that binds voters to their parties, and liberates them to vote for what they want rather than the ‘lesser of two evils MORE→ For more than a decade, Oregon state Representative Dan Rayfield, D-Corvallis, has been advocating for ranked choice voting in Benton County . So it was stirring for him when he finally got to rank candidates on his own ballot for the November general election. “That’s the culmination of the journey,” Rayfield said. “It is extremely fulfilling when you get to that moment. There’s nothing like that.” Benton County voters in 2016 passed a measure that implemented ranked choice voting for county commissioner races. That measure took effect for the first time this year—allowing third-party candidates from the Pacific Green Party and Libertarian Party to compete on the ballot without serving as spoilers. Rayfield and attorney Blair Bobier co-petitioned for the measure then, and said the county provided a local example of what ranked choice voting could look like in Oregon. Now, they’re looking to float a statewide bill. Rayfield said drafts of the legislation have already been sent to legislative attorneys. He expects to introduce a bill in December or January. During the session, he hopes to explore implementing ranked choice voting in two areas where he thinks such an electoral system upgrade could make “a meaningful difference”—nonpartisan statewide races that often attract more than two candidates and closed party primaries, where candidates often move onto the general election with less than a majority of the votes. “There’s a lot of momentum in different communities from all corners of the state,” Rayfield said. “What we have been doing is trying to act as facilitators to start a conversation about what should ranked choice voting look like in Oregon?” The benefits of ranked choice voting are gaining familiarity Ranked choice voting would allow voters to rank one or more candidates in order of preference. If no candidate receives 50 percent of the votes in the first round, the candidate with the fewest votes gets eliminated and those votes get redistributed to voters’ second choices. The process continues until a candidate tips over 50 percent of votes. Maine has used ranked choice voting for statewide elections since 2018, and a dozen cities have been using it for years. It’s gaining momentum: last year New York City voters adopted it, and this year, five cities in California, Minnesota, and Colorado passed their own ranked choice voting measures for local elections. Alaska’s measure on the November ballot to eliminate party primaries and approve ranked choice voting or general elections has passed. Ranked ballots give voters the option to rank more than one candidate, meaning their vote can still count even if their first choices are eliminated. Advocates for ranked choice voting in Oregon have said it will give voters more choices by allowing more diverse candidates to run. It would let voters rank a third-party or independent candidate first and a more mainstream candidate second, without worrying the third-party could “spoil” the race for their second choice. “RCV eliminates the fear that binds voters to their parties, and liberates them to vote for what they want rather than the ‘lesser of two evils,’” Mike Beilstein, a Pacific Green party candidate in Benton, wrote in an FAQ he sent to news outlets. “We Greens hope that this will force the major parties to be more responsive to public opinion.” Beilstein has also said he’s a strong supporter of statewide ranked choice voting. It could also potentially eliminate the need for a primary in some races—which proponents say would increase turnout and reduce voter fatigue, as well as save governments money. Bobier said it cost Oregon $3 million to $4 million to administer the 2012 primary. After decades of advocating ranked-choice voting, Bobier sees the new system “gaining momentum like a snowball running down a snow-covered hill.” The 2016 presidential election brought much more awareness to different kinds of election reform that would lead to better voter representation, Bobier said. Another high-profile example was President Donald Trump winning the Republican nomination in a crowded field despite garnering only about one-third of votes in the primary. “It’s amazing,” Bobier said. “There’s just a lot more awareness of it, there’s a lot more openness to changing the system, there’s a lot more understanding of the need for it.” How did ranked choice voting turn out in Benton County, Oregon? Proponents argue that the system leads to less negative campaigning, since candidates would need broader appeal to win and would be courting first and second choice votes. Some of these benefits to ranked choice voting were seen in Benton County this year, Bobier said. Pacific Green and Progressive Party candidate Mike Beilstein and Democratic candidate Xan Augerot, who both ran for a county commissioner position, at times campaigned together so voters could pick the other as their second choice. Augerot won with 58 percent of the votes, while Beilstein attracted 10 percent of the first-choice votes. Another benefit of ranked choice voting is that it gives the winner more information about what voters want. Augerot saw Beilstein’s strong third-party showing as evidence that voters in her district care about climate change . In the other race, Libertarian Cody Serdar pulled in more than 4 percent of first-choice votes without changing Democrat Nancy Wyse’s decisive victory with 64 percent of the votes. But Bobier said he’s also heard feedback that some voters were confused about whether they could choose just one candidate, if they had no other preference. Bobier said he wants to ensure there’s enough voter education so everyone understands they have that option if that’s what they choose. First Benton County, then the state? Ben Gaskins, assistant professor of political science at Lewis and Clark College, said ranked choice voting is gaining appeal among progressive voters as a more egalitarian way of voting. “My sense of Oregon is that it likes to try new things and to be on the cutting edge of democratic advances,” Gaskin said. “It would seem like Oregon is the perfect setting for another ranked choice voting measure.” Just as Portland, Maine, set an example for all Mainers, leading to state-wide adoption of ranked choice ballots, Benton County may blaze a new trail for Oregonians. MORE→ image https://www.sightline.org/2020/11/21/benton-county-blazes-a-trail-for-ranked-choice-voting-in-oregon - - -
Newscatcher ranked choice voting Minority pols seek to delay NYC Ranked Choice Voting law Carl Campanile New York Post 2020-11-21 The City Council's Black, Latino and Asian Caucus wants to postpone administering New York City's new Ranked-Choice Voting system for citywide and council races in 2021, The Post has learned. MORE→ 1 2 5 The City Council’s Black, Latino and Asian Caucus wants to postpone administering New York City’s new Ranked-Choice Voting system for citywide and council races in 2021, The Post has learned. They fear inadequate outreach and education during the pandemic about the complex new voting system will disenfranchise minority voters. Fifteen members of the minority caucus sent a Nov. 19 letter to Council Speaker Corey Johnson recommending a “pause” in the law — with the goal of delaying implementation of Ranked-Choice Voting for up to two years. The new voting system was overwhelmingly approved by city voters in a 2019 referendum, making it a city law to take effect in 2021. The Council and mayor would have to approve a new law to delay its implementation, Queens Councilman Daneek Miller, co-chairman of the caucus, told The Post Saturday. “We are not subverting the will of the people. There are a whole bunch of people who are going to be disenfranchised because there has been no outreach,” Miller said. In the letter, Miller and the caucus claimed the city Board of Elections is not up to the task of administering the new voting system in a matter of months following snafus in handling early voting and mail-in ballots. “We have no confidence in BOE’s ability to acclimate to a system of Ranked-Choice Voting’s scale and complexity, particularly within a compressed time frame already constrained by the pandemic, given its abysmal record of performance,” the letter co-signed by Miller said. “Its history of failure was underscored this year by a series of embarrassing incidents that many New Yorkers of color rightly perceive as akin to voter suppression: prolonged delivery of absentee ballots, mailing of erroneous absentee ballot envelopes, several hours long waits at poll sites. … Rather than forge ahead with BOE’s slipshod implementation process, we have an obligation to pause this transformation,” the lawmakers said. Speaker Johnson declined comment. The city Board of Election countered there’s no reason for delay. “The Board of Elections in the City of New York is ready to implement Rank Choice Voting and begin a public education campaign and poll worker training immediately following the December City Council Special Election [to fill a vacant Bronx council],” said BOE spokeswoman Valerie Vazquez. “Although the Campaign Finance Board is mandated by the City charter for the voter education portion of Rank Choice Voting, the Board has plans for a robust campaign to educate the City’s over 5 million voters,” she said. Under the RCV system, a candidate who receives a simple majority — 50 percent plus one vote — wins the election outright. But if there is no majority winner, voters’ second or third choices are tabulated to help pick a winner. For example, the last-place candidate would be eliminated first, and any voter who had that candidate as his or her top choice would have that vote transferred to their second choice. The ranking process continues for the remaining candidates until a winner is determined. The system avoids the need for costly run-off elections. A special election will be held on Feb. 2 to fill the vacancy for the Council seat in Eastern Queens because Rory Lancman stepped down to take a job in the Cuomo administration. Special elections will be held in March to fill seats vacated after Bronx Councilman Ritchie Torres was elected to Congress and Queens Councilman Donovan Richards was elected borough president. Ranked Choice voting is scheduled to be used in those races as well as in the primary races for mayor and other citywide and council races in the spring, city BOE officials said in recent public meetings. A top state education official opposed any attempt to delay implementation of the RCV law. “The law is long overdue. Rank Choice Voting provides a fairer and better outcome,” said Doug Kellner, co-chairman of the state Board of Elections. Supporters say the RCV system discourages negative campaigning and increases civility and coalition building because candidates must appeal to a broader group of voters and not just their natural base of supporters. MORE→ image https://nypost.com/2020/11/21/minority-pols-seek-to-delay-nyc-ranked-choice-voting-law - - - - -
Newscatcher ranked choice voting Top mayoral candidate admonishes new voting system amid efforts to delay it - POLITICO SALLY GOLDENBERG and JOE ANUTA Politico PRO 2020-11-21 An initial supporter of the policy, which voters overwhelmingly supported in 2019, Adams expressed a change of heart just as lawmakers contemplate legislation to halt it. MORE→ A leading mayoral candidate has joined a growing movement to stall the debut of a ballot system that ranks political candidates, warning it will “disenfranchise” Black and Latino voters and rests in the hands of a notoriously dysfunctional election board. Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams admonished the implementation of so-called ranked-choice voting this week, just as he was preparing to announce his own bid to succeed Bill de Blasio as New York City mayor. “Everyone knows that every layer you put in place in the process, you lose Black and brown voters and participation,” Adams said in an interview on Tuesday. “We can’t disenfranchise those voters.” An initial backer of the policy, which voters overwhelmingly supported in 2019, Adams expressed a change of heart just as lawmakers contemplate legislation to halt it and a civil rights organization considers legal action. Many who opposed the change after it was proposed last year are now citing the pandemic and the city Board of Elections’ perpetual blunders as rationales for delay. Some opponents are aligned with the city’s Democratic party machines, whose power over municipal elections would likely be diminished by ranked-choice voting, wherein voters list candidates in order of preference rather than picking a single one. Adams lambasted the Board of Elections for slow-walking voter education efforts around the new policy — though one official involved in the rollout defended plans to wait until the 2020 presidential election concluded to begin outreach, so as not to confuse voters. “The more barriers and layers you put in place, you’re going to hurt those who have English as a second language and those who are coming from minority communities,” Adams said. Ranked-choice voting has long been a goal of government reform groups who believe it would discourage negative campaigning while avoiding both low-turnout runoffs and electing candidates who win with only a small group of voters. Supporters say studies from California have demonstrated that ranked-choice voting boosts the chances of nonwhite candidates. Come next year, New Yorkers will be able to rank up to five people in city primaries. If none receives more than 50 percent, the last-place finisher is disqualified and voters who picked that person will have their next choice counted. The rankings continue until a winner is declared. A commission called by City Council Speaker Corey Johnson to study the City Charter concluded last year the policy would eliminate the effect of spoiler races while encouraging candidates to campaign beyond their aspired base in order to achieve second-place status. Johnson was a mayoral candidate at the time, and people close to him say he believed it would help his candidacy. "It's clear that New Yorkers are hungry for a more inclusive democracy, and disaffected communities in particular can really be empowered by their vote in a ranked-choice voting election,” Rose Pierre-Louis, who sits on the executive board of the Committee for Ranked-Choice Voting NYC, said in a prepared statement. Pierre-Louis also supports the candidacy of City Comptroller Scott Stringer, whose team believes would benefit fromthe novel voting system. She predicted voters would be able to adjust in time for the mayoral primary next June, just as they did for the advent of early voting this month, and urged the city not to delay. However, several plans are in the works to push back the rollout of ranked-choice voting, which is set to take effect in an off-cycle election for a City Council seat in February. The City Council’s Black, Latino, and Asian Caucus is now asking Johnson to “indefinitely defer” introducing the voting system, arguing the Board of Elections is unable to manage the rollout in time, according to a previously unreported letter signed by 15 members of the group and sent to Johnson Friday. “We have no confidence in BOE’s ability to acclimate voters to a system of Ranked-Choice Voting’s scale and complexity, particularly within a compressed timeframe already constrained by the pandemic, given its abysmal record of performance,” the co-chairs, I. Daneek Miller and Adrienne Adams, wrote. Both represent Southeast Queens, an area that is rich in committed voters and one Eric Adams has been courting for years. The letter accuses the board of “embarrassing incidents that many New Yorkers of color rightly perceive as akin to voter suppression,” namely a series of screw-ups in the delivery of absentee ballots this fall and hours-long waits at polling sites open for early voters. Senior citizens and people with disabilities were at times given “confusing guidance” from poll workers, they said. Miller said he is pushing the speaker to introduce legislation to delay the rollout. He reasoned it would be similar in structure to the Council’s 2008 bill to overturn term limits, which voters had approved in a prior ballot referendum. Despite spearheading the initiative, Johnson declined to comment on the effort to delay it. Others who take umbrage with ranked-choice voting are weighing the possibility of legal action. Kirsten John Foy, who founded the civil rights organization Arc of Justice and previously worked for Rev. Al Sharpton, is among those looking into filing a lawsuit. “This is the wrong environment to be upending a known, reliable system — although imperfect — with an unknown, untested and consequently unreliable system,” Foy said in an interview. He called arguments that ranked-choice voting helps Black and Latino candidates “a shell game” and said the policy would encourage candidates to focus more on the horse race of politics. “If somebody is elected who did not enjoy majority support, how do you justify that?” he added. A lawsuit would likely invoke the federal Voting Rights Act and argue that candidates preferred by communities of color fare worse under the new system, effectively diluting their votes, according to Mark Peters, an attorney who has been approached by Foy and sits on his board. These types of legal actions typically involve months of preparation and detailed studies of past elections here or in other cities where ranked-choice is already used, like San Francisco, which elected its first Black female mayor with this system. Ranked-choice would weaken the power of political parties, which appoint the city’s 10 Board of Elections commissioners and play a role in controlling the outcomes of local elections. They often select party loyalists to run for office, help fund their campaigns and are known to try to kick opponents off the ballot. It is not lost on the county machines that this would weaken their hold over the process. “From my perspective it is done to undermine the party system,” Patrick Jenkins, a political consultant with ties to the Bronx and Queens Democratic parties, said in a recent interview. “African-Americans have struggled in this city, have been the backbone of the Democratic party and we have worked hard to achieve through the party structure representation and equality,” he said. “We spent all these years trying to play by the rules.” Four of the city’s five Democratic organizations are run by Black lawmakers, the result of decades of political loyalty among voters who often determine outcomes in city races. Some Black candidates questioned Jenkins’ argument. “They are using race as a narrative to try to muddle up the reality, which is that this is a benefit to voters, candidates of color and candidates who are anti-establishment,” said Brandon West, a Democratic Socialists of America-backed candidate for City Council. Stringer unequivocally disagreed with moves to halt it. “Is he in favor of supporting a reform measure that the voters already passed? You bet,” Stringer spokesperson Tyrone Stevens said. Another mayoral candidate, Maya Wiley, has been a vocal proponent of the policy, along with a laundry list of local officials. The Board of Elections says its machines can handle the new voting system, and thisweek issued a solicitation for contractors who could provide software to automatically tabulate votes. The board expects to formalize that contract in January. Despite concerns that the city lacks sufficient time to educate voters and candidates, outreach has already begun. Rank the Vote NYC, an umbrella organization, has conducted more than 20 training sessions for candidates and staff. Another outreach service began training sessions last month and will hold another to educate voters on Dec. 2. The city’s Campaign Finance Board, which is required to conduct voter outreach, said it is on schedule. “Voting in 2020 was confusing enough for voters. Adding an educational campaign about ranked-choice voting, which only applies to municipal elections beginning in 2021, would have just added more confusion,” Matt Sollars, spokesperson for the finance board, said in a statement. Shaun Donovan, who is running for mayor, incorporated ranked-choice voting into a 29-page campaign pitch he’s circulated to potential supporters, which reads: “Shaun’s broad appeal makes him a natural 2nd and 3rd choice for voters, even when they are already committed to another candidate.” Jump to sidebar section MORE→ image https://www.politico.com/states/new-york/albany/story/2020/11/21/top-mayoral-candidate-admonishes-new-voting-system-amidst-efforts-to-delay-it-1337593 - - - - -
GNews ranked choice voting More Cops Say They Won't Enforce Coronavirus Curfews Elizabeth Nolan Brown Reason.com 2020-11-20 Plus: Biden definitely wins Georgia, Alaskans approve ranked-choice voting, Facebook faces next antitrust lawsuit, and more... MORE→ California curfew starts Saturday. As expected, California Gov. Gavin Newsom has announced an overnight stay-at-home order , telling residents to curtail nonessential activities between the hours of 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. from this Saturday through December 21. California follows in the footsteps of New York, Ohio, and Oklahoma . Though it will not cover the whole state, the new directive applies to all counties in California's pandemic purple tier—the color representing the most severe outbreaks—and effectively covers most of the state's population. "Roughly 94% of Californians—37 million people—live in counties that are in the purple tier," reports the Los Angeles Times . "The state has reported an average of more than 10,000 new cases each day over the last week," the paper notes. But not all local law enforcement authorities in California are on board. A number of county sheriffs say they won't enforce the curfew orders. "On Nov. 19 the California Department of Public Health issued a curfew order for the state of California. The El Dorado County Sheriff's Office is aware and will not be enforcing this curfew order," the office said in a statement . Fresno County Sheriff's Office followed suit. "We're not gonna make criminals of normally law-abiding citizens," Sheriff Margaret Mims said at a press conference yesterday. "I haven't seen any data for instance that shows that between the hours of 10 p.m. and 5 a.m., that things happen that cause a big spread of COVID." Neither Merced County nor Sacramento County sheriffs plan to enforce the order. "The Sacramento County Sheriff's Office will not be determining—including entering any home or business—compliance with, or enforcing compliance of, any health or emergency orders related to curfews, staying at home, Thanksgiving or other social gatherings inside or outside the home, maximum occupancy, or mask mandates," said Sheriff Scott Jones in a statement. "The Merced County Sheriff's Office will not be determining compliance or enforcing any health or emergency orders related to curfews, Thanksgiving, or other social gatherings inside or outside the home, maximum occupancy, or mask mandates in Merced County," the sheriff's office wrote on Facebook. In the Coachella Valley, many departments are unsure as of yet how to handle it. But Riverside County Sheriff Chad Bianco wrote on Facebook: It has been the policy of the Sheriff's Department to encourage responsible behavior and compliance with the Governor's orders. To ensure constitutional rights are not violated and to limit potential negative interactions and exposure to our deputies, we will not be responding to calls for service based solely on non-compliance with the new order or social distancing and mask guidelines. San Jose Inside reports that in Silicon Valley, city police departments say they have similar plans: Mountain View Police Department spokeswoman Katie Nelson said that "much like with previous state stay-at-home orders, and other county public health mandates, [MVPD] will continue to take an educational approach." San Jose Police Department spokesman Sgt. Christian Camarillo said his agency would take a similar tack instead of issuing citations. "In addition, we will not be utilizing this curfew as probable cause to detain persons during the curfew hours," he assured. Some sheriffs in Ohio are also resisting enforcement of the state's 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew, which began yesterday. "It is up to the business owners to enforce this as they do with the requirements to wear a shirt and shoes," Geauga County Sheriff Scott A. Hildenbrand wrote on Facebook. In Butler County, just north of Cincinnati, Sheriff Richard K. Jones said earlier this week: "I'm not going to have my employees go out and make arrests, or stop people." He continued, "People are angry, and I don't care what the governor says, somebody will disobey or run. Bad things will happen from this curfew." Some Cincinnati area police are also skeptical, reports WLWT5 Cincinnati: "How do you stop someone at 11 o'clock at night and then they say we're going to McDonald's? How do you enforce that?" said Newtown police Chief Tom Synan. "We have no intention of enforcing the curfew. We're not going to be out there stopping cars. There's not going to be roadblocks." […] Fairfield police Chief Steve Maynard wrote on the department's Facebook page "We support the efforts of the governor's office to manage this matter, however, it places an undue burden on the already stretched resources of our department. That said, we will not be actively looking for violations of the order." Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine is facing some pushback from his state legislature: In a party line vote, House Republicans passed Senate Bill 311 , which prohibits the Ohio Department of Health from issuing statewide and regional quarantine or isolation orders to people who haven't been infected or exposed to disease. The Senate passed the bill in September. It would also allow lawmakers to pass a resolution to rescind ODH orders like the statewide mask mandate. ELECTION 2020 Biden will be certified as the victor in Georgia. The state's hand recount of ballots is finished, and Joe Biden has still won . Sen. Mitt Romney's (R–Utah) statement about the election results and President Donald Trump's response: pic.twitter.com/S3kFsIRGmi — Mitt Romney (@MittRomney) November 20, 2020 FREE MINDS Alaskans approved ranked-choice voting , in which voters don't just choose their single top candidate but rank their top choices. "Measure 2 makes sweeping changes to how Alaska administers elections. Instead of two primaries, in which each political party nominates a candidate for the general election in November, the state will hold one open primary from which the top four candidates, regardless of party affiliation, proceed to the general election," notes Vox . FREE MARKETS A positive side effect of the pandemic? This past year has brought a huge reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. "Carbon dioxide emissions from the US economy are nose-diving this year to a level not seen since 1983, according to new estimates by BloombergNEF ," notes The Verge . "The planet-heating pollution is on track to fall by 9.2 percent from last year, which the private research organization says would be the biggest reduction on record." Emissions are expected to be down 7 percent globally. Facebook faces a major attack by attorneys general and the DOJ. Following a civil suit against Google by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and a slew of Republican attorneys general, an even bigger (and bipartisan) group of authorities is planning to target Facebook on similar grounds: The Federal Trade Commission and a bipartisan group of dozens of state attorneys general are in the final stages of filing one or more major antitrust complaints against Facebook Inc in early December, according to four sources familiar with the situation. FTC staff undertaking a probe of the company has recommended to commissioners that they sue the social media company in federal court, which would allow the group of states, led by New York, to join the lawsuit, according to one source. As many as 41 states may sign on to the lawsuit, three sources said. The filing of the lawsuit or lawsuits could slip into next year, the sources said. QUICK HITS Orlando Hall was put to death by lethal injection just before midnight, about an hour after the Supreme Court cleared the way for the execution to take place. Full story from @katiebarttt on the emergency appeals that culminated at the court on Thursday: https://t.co/tRb9R240pp — SCOTUSblog (@SCOTUSblog) November 20, 2020 • Oregon Democratic Rep. Peter DeFazio and Arizona Republican Rep. Andy Biggs "are expected to introduce a resolution in the House this week that calls for an end to US involvement in the war in Yemen," reports Antiwar.com. See a draft of the bill here . • A third of the Cincinnati City Council has been arrested on bribery charges in 2020. • Kevin Williamson of the National Review on Trumpian GOP conspiracy theories : … what we are seeing now, in the twilight of Trump's kookery, is the merger of QAnon, the Republican Party, and the large part of the conservative movement that earns its bread by peddling miracle veggie pills to gullible elderly people on the radio. When I first starting writing about QAnon, some conservatives scoffed that it wasn't a significant phenomenon, that it had no real influence on the Republican Party or conservative politics. That is obviously untrue. Rather than ask whether conspiracy kookery is relevant to Republican politics at this moment, it would be better to ask if there is anything else to Republican politics at this moment. And maybe there is, but not much . • In Minnesota, a new executive order from Gov. Tim Walz declares that "except as specifically permitted in this Executive Order, social gatherings are prohibited. […] Organizers of prohibited social gatherings may be subject to appropriate enforcement action by city, county, and/or state authorities." Drive-in gatherings and activities deemed essential (work, child care, etc.) are permitted. Walz's order also nixes many outdoor recreational activities, saying "individuals must not engage in outdoor recreational activities where they will come into close proximity with others from different households." MORE→ image https://reason.com/2020/11/20/more-cops-say-they-wont-enforce-coronavirus-curfews - - - - -
Newscatcher ranked choice voting Ranked-choice voting worked for NH Democrats David Brooks Granite Geek 2020-11-20 This was a forward-thinking process that truly gave us a consensus pick for our leader New Hampshire’s Democrats had a lousy election this year at the state level – every branch of state government is now controlled by Republicans, although the Democrats did hold onto all the federal seats. To compensate, they had some fun when they met to vote for party leader, using ranked-choice voting for the first time. Here’s a lightly edited release from Tiani Coleman, president of NH Ranked Choice Voting: Democrats at the State House elected their leader today in caucus, and for the first time used a system of voting known as Ranked Choice Voting (“RCV”), whereby voters rank their preferences, and support is coalesced until a majority winner is found. It works like runoff elections, but instantly. The state representatives had four choices: Representatives Doug Ley who was the current Democratic leader, Margie Smith, Matt Wilhelm, and Renny Cushing. The ballot count went in three rounds until Rep Renny Cushing, current chair of the Criminal Justice Committee and long-time champion of prison reform, abolishing the death penalty and other progressive causes, was declared the leader. By all accounts the process went smoothly, other than for a handful out of 180 members who seemed to have technical problems unrelated to RCV. In the first round, Rep. Matt Wilhelm with 28 votes was eliminated, and the ballots cast for him were reallocated to those voters’ second preferences. Rep. Margie Smith was eliminated in the second round, and the process repeated. The third round showed that most of the voters who had picked either Reps Wilhelm or Smith, preferred Renny Cushing to Doug Ley, as Rep. Cushing had the final majority. Rep. Ellen Read, the two-time sponsor of ranked choice voting bills in the House and champion of ranked choice voting says, “There were some people who were hesitant before we began the process, but by the end it had become clear to virtually everyone how easy, smooth and common sense ranked choice voting is.” Rep. Tim Smith says, “This was a forward-thinking process that truly gave us a consensus pick for our leader. This allowed everyone to vote their preferences, instead of being forced into any particular 2-candidate choice, and now allows Rep. Cushing to take the leadership with a legitimate mandate and a unified Democratic caucus.” Maine has been using it statewide since 2018, and Alaska just passed a ballot measure that will implement RCV statewide in general elections. RCV was narrowly defeated in Massachusetts in 2020, but still got millions of votes and had widespread support by many household names in politics. RCV is used locally in numerous other locations and is on the agenda for various upcoming legislative sessions. MORE→ image https://granitegeek.concordmonitor.com/2020/11/20/ranked-choice-voting-worked-for-nh-democrats - - -
Newscatcher ranked choice voting Alaska Measure 2 results: Ranked-choice voting approved Kelsey Piper Vox 2020-11-19 The voting reform measure is meant to combat polarization and increase voter choice. Voters in Alaska have approved ranked-choice voting.Brianna Soukup/Portland Portland Press Herald via Getty ImagesIn a tight vote that came down to about 4,000 ballots, Alaskans approved a measure to join Maine in conducting their elections using ranked-choice voting by approving the ballot initiative Measure 2. Measure 2 makes sweeping changes to how Alaska administers elections. Instead of two primaries, in which each political party nominates a candidate for the general election in November, the state will hold one open primary from which the top four candidates, regardless of party affiliation, proceed to the general election. Ranked-choice voting lets voters list the candidates in order of preference. “This is a victory for all Alaskans regardless of their political leaning,” Shea Siegert, manager of the Yes on 2 for Better Elections campaign, said in a statement Wednesday. “We now have an electoral system that lives up to Alaska’s independent streak by saying ‘to hell with politics let’s do what is right for Alaska.’” Alaska’s outcome was a victory for voting reform campaigners, who have argued that changing how we vote might address hyperpartisanship and polarization while giving third-party candidates a better chance at elected office. Opponents have warned it could be a logistical headache, though so far the cities and states that have adopted ranked-choice voting have conducted their elections without major problems. Massachusetts considered a similar law this November but rejected it. Ranked-choice voting works like this: Instead of justpicking one of the candidates on the ballot, you rank them from most preferred to least preferred. While it is new in the United States, it has been successfully used for a century in Australia and in Ireland. The idea is that this allows voters to choose their favorite possible candidate. Most of the United States has what’s called a first-past-the-post electoral system, where the candidate who receives the most votes becomes president. First-past-the-post systems incentivize strategic voting (voting not for your favorite candidate but for your preferred candidate with a real shot at victory), and they have driven the rise of a two-party system like the one in the US. And while first-past-the-post voting systems are not the only factor that has led to the two-party system or to the increasing polarization of America, they’ve certainly contributed. First-past-the-post systems mean third-party candidates rarely win, even if many voters prefer them; each voter expects that voting for a third party constitutes “throwing away” their vote. Imagine a person were deciding between President Donald Trump, Democratic candidate Joe Biden, Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins, and Libertarian Party candidate Jo Jorgensen. Our hypothetical voter likes both Hawkins and Jorgensen better than Biden but would prefer Biden win than Trump. Under first-past-the-post voting — the voting system most Americans voted with this election — our hypothetical voter might feel forced to vote for Biden. Under ranked-choice voting, they would list (for example) Hawkins first, Jorgensen second, Biden third, and Trump fourth. When ballots are counted, the ballot counters will eliminate the candidate with the fewest first-place votes and “move” their vote to their second-place candidate. You can see how it works on this ballot from Maine, which conducted the first-ever general statewide election with ranked-choice voting this November. David Sharp/AP PhotoAs a result, third-party candidates get more votes because voters don’t feel like they’re throwing their vote away by supporting them. And the process generally favors candidates whom lots of voters find acceptable over polarizing candidates whom many voters hate. “Ranked-choice voting rewards candidates who can appeal most broadly because candidates compete to be voters’ second and third choices as well as their first,” voting reform expert Lee Drutman wrote for Vox in 2019. Studies find that in areas with ranked-choice voting, campaigns are more civil. Ranked-choice voting might also increase representation of women and minorities, who seem to benefit when the electoral conditions encourage coalition building. That’s a particularly big deal in Alaska, where independents account for 57 percent of registered voters but hold only three seats in the state legislature. Another implication of Ballot Measure 2 is that Alaska’s moderate Republican senator, Lisa Murkowski, is in less danger of being primaried from the right — which is what happened in 2010, when a more conservative Republican won the party’s nomination, forcing Murkowski to run an unprecedented successful write-in campaign to keep her seat. In a ranked-choice voting system, Murkowski only needs to be one of the top four candidates in the primary to advance to the general election. A growing conversation about how we vote Ranked-choice voting is used all over the world, but until two decades ago — when San Francisco adopted it — it was rarely used or discussed in the US. US election experts, concerned about growing polarization and voter disenchantment, began encouraging other cities and states to adopt it. It did nicely in San Francisco, and other cities signed on. Eventually, the movement hit the national stage: In 2018, Maine became the first state to adopt ranked-choice voting. In 2019, New York City signed on as well. In the 2020 election cycle, presidential candidates Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Michael Bennet endorsed it. These early adopters allow us a window into some important questions about ranked-choice voting. In particular, critics have worried it will be harder for the election office to tabulate and that it will confuse voters or lead to more spoiled ballots. No such problems were reported in this year’s ranked-choice primaries, and ranked-choice voting works fine in many other countries. But Maine’s high statewide turnout in the 2020 general election represented the system’s first time in the spotlight for most Americans. With both Maine and Alaska now using ranked-choice voting, this method of conducting elections will have a chance to prove that it works — or that it doesn’t — in combating the rising tide of polarization. Will you help keep Vox free for all? Millions of people rely on Vox to understand how the policy decisions made in Washington, from health care to unemployment to housing, could impact their lives. Our work is well-sourced, research-driven, and in-depth. And that kind of work takes resources. Even after the economy recovers, advertising alone will never be enough to support it. If you have already made a contribution to Vox, thank you. If you haven’t, help us keep our journalism free for everyone by making a financial contribution today, from as little as $3. MORE→ image https://www.vox.com/2020/11/19/21537126/alaska-measure-2-ranked-choice-voting-results - - - - -
Newscatcher ranked choice voting Alaskans Approve Shift to Ranked-Choice Voting - Reason Scott Shackford Reason.com 2020-11-19 St. Louis residents agree to shift to approval voting for local primaries. Alaska will be joining Maine in allowing its voters to rank candidates for office rather than having to settle for just one. The full numbers are finally in for Alaska Ballot Measure 2 , which will implement ranked-choice voting in the state. It has passed (barely) with 50.6 percent of the voters' approval. Ranked-choice voting allows citizens to rank candidates for office in order of their support. In order to win, the top candidate must receive more than 50 percent of the vote. If he or she does not, the candidate who received the fewest votes is eliminated and the vote is recounted. For every voter who selected the eliminated candidate, now their second-choice is counted as their vote. This continues until one candidate passes the 50 percent threshold, and that candidate is deemed the winner. Ranked-choice voting allows greater room for third-party and independent candidates to draw votes without citizens feeling like they have to "throw their vote away." It doesn't necessarily change election outcomes—even with three opponents, Republican Maine Sen. Susan Collins got 51.1 percent of the vote on Election Day to keep her seat, and so the state's ranked-choice mechanisms didn't apply. But it can change— and on occasion, has changed —results if voters are too lukewarm on a frontrunner. In Alaska, Measure 2 will implement ranked-choice voting for state and congressional offices, and it also changes how the primaries work. They'll be shifting to an open primary where voters can choose among candidates regardless of political affiliation. The top four will then advance to the November election, where ranked-choice selection will determine the winner. This is an intriguing loosening of the "top-two primary" system in states like California and Washington, where only two candidates (regardless of party) make it to the November votes, cutting ballot access for third-party candidates and sometimes even leaving voters only with the choice between two people from the same party . Ranked-choice voting won't, however, be coming to Massachusetts. Voters rejected a ballot initiative to introduce ranked-choice voting there, with only 45.08 percent of voters supporting it with 99 percent of precincts reporting. A different type of election will be introduced in St. Louis, again thanks to the result of a local ballot proposition. Proposition D will bring approval voting to primaries for local city offices. In approval voting, voters don't need to choose just one candidate, nor do they rank the candidates. Instead, they can simply vote in favor of each candidate they like and would accept to that office. Then the candidate with the most approval votes wins. In St. Louis, by a vote of 68 percent, citizens agreed to implement a system of approval voting for the March primaries for city elections. In the primary, voters will choose however many candidates they approve of for each office. The top two vote-getters will then face off in the April vote in a more traditional runoff election. This isn't quite as significant a change in voting as in Alaska and Maine, and St. Louis Public Radio notes that part of the impetus for the shift is that St. Louis's city races are so heavily dominated by Democrats (it hasn't had a Republican mayor since 1943) that the big fight is in the primary between several Democratic candidates, and sometimes the "winner" actually has only 40 percent of the vote or less. Approval voting will, proponents hope, ensure that the candidates that the most voters support make it to the runoff. But as St. Louis Public Radio also points out, narrowing the pool down to two candidates for the runoff may end up having the same effect as it does in California—cutting out third parties. It could even damage their access to the ballot in the long term: There are five political parties in Missouri—Republican, Democratic, Green, Constitutional and Libertarian—that appear on the ballot automatically in every election. But if an established party's candidate fails to get 2 percent of the votes cast in two straight elections in a county, it loses established party status in that county. Proposition D takes away three opportunities for third parties in St. Louis to reach that goal, said Don Fitz, the outreach coordinator for the Green Party of St. Louis. "And so it would be much, much more difficult for any small party, whether it's the Green Party or the Libertarian Party to maintain ballot status," he said. "And it's another form of favoritism for the Democrats and Republicans to do for themselves." They'll be able to see next spring how it affects the election results. MORE→ image https://reason.com/2020/11/19/alaskans-approve-shift-to-ranked-choice-voting - - - - -
GNews ranked choice voting Alaska shows independent streak, adopts ranked-choice voting Paul Best Fox News 2020-11-19 This is a victory for all Alaskans regardless of their political leaning. Alaskans approved an election reform measure earlier this month that will make the state just the second in the U.S. to adopt ranked-choice voting. The ballot measure narrowly passed with 50.49% voting in favor of it, Alaska's Division of Elections announced Tuesday. Instead of just picking one candidate, ranked-choice voting allows voters to rank candidates in order of preference: first, second, third and so on. If one candidate receives more than 50% of first-choice votes, then that candidate wins. If not, the candidate with the least amount of first-choice votes is eliminated, and the ballots that ranked the eliminated candidate as the first choice would go towards the voters' second-ranked candidate. This process continues until a candidate gets 50% of the vote. Ranked-choice voting has been touted by supporters as a way to loosen the grip of the two-party system on American politics. "Political polarization is one of the greatest threats to our system today, and replacing our current plurality voting with [ranked-choice voting] will facilitate the emergence of third parties by eliminating wasted votes or strategic voting," Francis Fukuyama, a senior fellow at Stanford University, wrote in Politico Magazine . According to Yes on 2 for Better Elections , a ballot committee, ranked-choice voting has been adopted in 23 American cities and Maine. “This is a victory for all Alaskans regardless of their political leaning. We now have an electoral system that lives up to Alaska’s independent streak by saying ‘to hell with politics let’s do what is right for Alaska,’” Shea Siegert, campaign manager of Yes on 2 for Better Elections, said in a statement , referencing the late Alaska Senator Ted Stevens. Alaskans also voted to replace the current political party primaries with an open nonpartisan primary system. All candidates will appear on one ballot in the primary, and the top four candidates will then appear on the ballot in the general election. Candidates can choose to have a political party listed next to their names or simply put "undeclared." MORE→ image https://www.foxnews.com/politics/alaska-ranked-choice-voting - - -
Newscatcher ranked choice voting Opinion: Ranked-Choice Voting Will Result in More Accurate Elections Kira Rao-Poolla Berkeley High Jacket 2020-11-19 But why the shift? RCV allows for more freedom of choice. Opinion The system has been successfully implemented in Berkeley and in other cities and states across the US. It should be adopted nationwide. Ranked-choice voting (RCV) is an election system where voters rank candidates by preference, as opposed to choosing only one candidate, as the current “winner take all” system requires. All first choice votes are tallied, and if no candidate receives the majority, the person with the least votes is eliminated. People who voted for the eliminated candidate then have their second choice vote counted instead. This process continues until one candidate receives over 50 percent of the vote. All elections should use a RCV system, as it will lead to fairer elections and a more representative democracy. RCV is on the rise. This year, Maine became the first state to use RCV in a presidential election. Five states used it in the 2020 Democratic Party presidential primaries, and over 20 cities use this method in local elections, including Minneapolis, San Francisco, and even Berkeley! Berkeley first used this system in 2010, and used it this year to elect the mayor, members of the city council, and the city auditor. But why the shift? RCV allows for more freedom of choice. People can vote for their actual preferences without fear that their vote won’t count. Vicki Hiatt, the chairwoman of the Kansas Democratic Party, remarked, “Sometimes they’re voting for the lesser of two evils. So, most people have said to me: ‘This is great. Now I can vote for who I really want.’ ” RCV also diminishes the “spoiler effect,” which is when people vote for independent or minor-party candidates, siphoning away votes from major-party candidates. Plurality voting is very vulnerable to this outcome because voters may split between candidates with similar ideologies, so an opponent with drastically different views wins. For instance, in the 2000 presidential election, Al Gore lost to George W. Bush because of votes cast for third party candidate Ralph Nader. This result could have been avoided under RCV, which allows voters to rank all the candidates in order of preference. RCV has the additional advantage of pushing towards more moderate candidates in elections and less polarized politics. Because candidates still want to win second and third choice votes, they try to appeal to a broader constituency. While some might argue that RCV results in boring candidates, perhaps boring is better than dangerously thrilling. Under RCV, negative campaigning is discouraged, and a more civil environment is created. In our traditional system, voters can choose only one candidate, so politicians benefit from attacking opponents. With RCV, candidates have actually come together and supported each other, encouraging people to vote for both, because second choice votes can help determine who wins. Despite all of the merits of RCV, some argue against it, claiming that it is too complicated and will discourage voter turnout. They suggest that people may not understand RCV, which could result in “bullet voting” — when a person votes for only one candidate and the candidate is eliminated, so their vote is essentially nullified. But these problems could be fixed by spreading awareness and educating the public about RCV. If this system of voting were more common, it is likely that people would become familiar with it. Ultimately, RCV is far superior to the current “winner take all” system and should be adopted in all elections, especially those with many candidates. While RCV may appear confusing and intimidating, it would lead to more accurate elections of candidates who truly reflect the preferences of voters. In addition, it may result in more moderate candidates who will appeal to a wider range of values, and thus diminish the polarization in politics that is ripping apart American society. MORE→ image https://berkeleyhighjacket.com/2020/opinion/ranked-choice-voting-will-result-in-more-accurate-elections - - -
Newscatcher ranked choice voting Portland Might Have Elected A New Mayor With Ranked Choice Voting Hayat Norimine Sightline Institute 2020-11-19 Ted Wheeler won but with no strong mandate. His opposition was split. Ranked choice voting could have delivered Portland a new mayor. MORE→ After four years of Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler, most of the city’s voters were ready to find someone else to take his place. So how did Wheeler win a second term? It was a three-way race. He won fewer than half the votes, but more votes than either of the other two (mostly further left) candidates. If they’d used ranked choice voting, would Portlanders have elected a new mayor? Wheeler’s prospects for reelection were questionable given his dropping popularity. A DHM poll released in October showed he was behind his biggest challenger, Sarah Iannarone, by 11 percentage points. Another September poll showed nearly two out of three voters thought unfavorably of the mayor. The poll, conducted by FM3 Research and commissioned by a political action committee pushing for community police oversight, also showed strong support for the Black Lives Matter movement and the demand to reverse rising homelessness in the city—both issues at the top of Iannarone’s policy proposals as a progressive candidate. Teressa Raiford, a Black Lives Matter activist and founder of Don’t Shoot Portland, won 8 percent of the votes in Portland’s top-two primary in May and was eliminated from the race. But organizers launched a write-in campaign for her in the general election. Because Iannorone was running to the left of Wheeler and Raiford was even further left on certain issues, it is possible that the majority of Portland voters split their votes between the two women, allowing Wheeler to win with just 46 percent support. Iannorone won 41 percent and Raiford and other write-in candidates captured 13 percent. Wheeler led Iannarone by 19,204 votes. More than 47,000 voters cast ballots for a write-in candidate. Ranked choice voting would have changed the dynamic, and likely the result, of the race in several important ways: Voters would have had more options on the general election ballot, including Raiford, and possibly an option to the right of Wheeler. More choices for voters would also give the candidates more information about what voters want. Iannorone might have won. If fewer than half the voters who preferred a write-in candidate had ranked Iannorone second, she would have won with majority support instead of Wheeler winning with less than half the votes. (Alternatively, Wheeler might still have won, but with a stronger mandate.) Candidates may have focused more on fleshing out their specific policy proposals and less on attacking each other during the campaign. Voters could have more choices Here’s how a top-four primary and ranked choice voting (RCV) in the general—the policy that Alaska voters just adopted —might have worked for Portland. The top four of the 19 candidates from the primary—Ted Wheeler, Sarah Iannorone, Teressa Raiford and Ozzie Gonzázlez—would have advanced to the general election. Voters would have the option to rank one or more of those candidates, in order of preference. If no candidate received more than 50 percent support of first-choice votes, the candidate with the fewest first-place votes would’ve been eliminated. In this case, that likely would have been Ozzie González; voters who ranked him first would’ve had their vote reallocated to their second choice. The process would continue until a candidate won the majority of votes still in play. Having all four candidates in the general would have given voters a spectrum of options. For example, on the hot button issues of police reform, voters could have ranked their preferences from Wheeler’s moderate budget cuts and increased oversight for the police bureau, to Iannorone’s commitment to work with Black Lives Matter leaders to bring about comprehensive reform, to Raiford’s desire to dismantle the bureau . Similarly, voters would have had the chance to express support for climate plans ranging from Wheeler’s touting of energy efficiency to Iannorone’s Bill McKibben-endorsed climate leadership to González’s plans for zero carbon and zero waste. Iannorone argued that to solve the climate crisis we must solve the housing crisis, and voters would have had the chance to rank her vision of abundant housing against Wheeler’s focus on increasing shelter capacity and Raiford’s opposition to infill housing. More conservative voters might have been able to register their own support for a candidate they loathed less than Wheeler without fearing contributing to an Iannarone win. It’s possible Wheeler might have still won, if voters who backed Raiford or Gonzalez first had preferred Wheeler second. For example, in the general election, Gonzalez might have positioned himself as the law and order candidate, appealing to Portlanders concerned about ongoing protests. Or more protectionist voters worried about new housing in their neighborhoods might have supported Raiford as the candidate opposed to infill. Whether Wheeler or Iannorone ultimately won, ranked ballots would have given them a better sense of voters’ preferences on the issues that differentiated the four candidates, ultimately pushing the winner in the direction of voters’ preferences. For example, Benton County used ranked-choice voting for the first time this year and Pacific Green Party commissioner candidate Mike Beilstein captured 10 percent of the votes. This signaled to the winner of the race that many of her constituents care passionately about climate change . Because they were able to rank the Green Party candidate, voters may have moved lawmakers towards more aggressive climate policies. s Portland voter could have agreed on a new mayor A majority of Portlanders preferred someone other than Ted Wheeler to be mayor. If many of those who liked Raiford or González best had liked Iannarone second-best (or at least more than Wheeler), Portland would be seeing a change of direction in the Mayor’s office next year. But because voters didn’t have the option to indicate who they liked second-best, Portland is set to get four more years of Wheeler, who is stuck with a weak mandate. More broad appeal, less hostility Another advantage of ranked choice voting is less negative campaigning. Some Portland voters were turned off by the hostility candidates displayed towards each other at an early mayoral debate. If candidates had been working to earn voters’ second-place rankings, they might have focused more on appealing to more voters, not simply lobbing broad critiques at their opponents. Ben Gaskins, associate professor political science at Lewis & Clark College, said ranked choice voting would’ve forced candidates to be more broadly appealing to entice voters to rank them as a second choice. Wheeler would have needed Raiford’s supporters to win. Cities that have used ranked choice voting for years have experienced how it transforms campaigns from character-bashing to voter-seeking. Because candidates need to appeal to most voters rather than just push their main opponent down to win, ranked choice voting might also dampen negative campaigning by independent expenditure campaigns. A political action committee (PAC) supporting Ted Wheeler raised more than $300,000 and launched attack ads against Sarah Iannarone. That may not have been the best use of money with ranked choice voting. Will this result build momentum for reform? Ben Gaskins, associate professor political science at Lewis & Clark College, said the reelection of a “very unpopular” mayor prompted voters, especially those who supported Iannarone, to discuss election reform. A report by City Club of Portland released in July recommended that the city adopt some type of alternative voting system for City Council and mayoral races to improve equity and voter representation in elections. City Club last year concluded that Portland’s current “first-past-the-goal-post” election system is the worst option for achieving the city’s equity goals to give members of racial and ethnic minorities more of a voice in elections and government. Those goals include greater voter participation and more diverse candidates and officials. One advantage to ranked choice voting is that it makes every vote count even if a voter’s preferred candidate doesn’t make it past the first round. According to the report, ranked choice voting has been shown to increase diverse representation in candidates in Minneapolis, where 12 of the 22 candidates that won in 2017 were either women or people of color. Jenny Lee, a member of the City Club committee that researched the different forms of voting and deputy director of the Coalition of Communities of Color, said she believes ranked-choice voting encourages candidates looking for broad support to reach out to constituents often left out of the conversation. Lee said that with the ability to rank candidates, voters could also signal the policies they care most about and the messages that resonated, not just the individual candidate they believe is right. For example, in Portland’s mayoral race, supporters of dismantling the police bureau could have demonstrated that by putting Raiford first, and still could have indicated if they preferred Iannarone to Wheeler. “It is important that there’s something that better captures the policy preferences and the values of voters,” Lee said. With ranked choice voting, “you’re better able to express your beliefs.” Sightline Institute is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization and does not support, endorse, or oppose any candidate or political party. Kristin Eberhard , Director, Climate and Democracy and author of Becoming a Democracy: How We Can Fix the Electoral College, Gerrymandering, and Our Elections , is a researcher, writer, speaker, lawyer, and policy analyst who spearheads Sightline Institute’s work on democracy reform and on climate action. She researches, writes about, and speaks about elections systems and democracy reform , with particular expertise on Vote By Mail and proportional representation. Eberhard lives in Oregon, an all-Vote By Mail state. She is available to discuss tested, safe, fair COVID-19 election practices, state by state. Find all Eberhard’s latest research here . Hayat Norimine, research contributor, is a freelance writer who grew up in Washington on the border of Idaho. She previously covered city halls and politics for The Dallas Morning News, Seattle Met magazine, and The Daily News in Longview, Washington. She has an MA in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism and a BA in English from the University of Washington. For Sightline, she researches and writes about democracy reform and elections issues and reports on fossil fuel proposals along the Thin Green Line. For press inquiries and interview requests, please contact Anna Fahey . MORE→ image https://www.sightline.org/2020/11/19/portland-might-have-elected-a-new-mayor-with-ranked-choice-voting - - - - -
GNews ranked choice voting Results: Alaska approves amendment to enact top-4 primaries and ranked choice voting MSN 2020-11-19 Starting in 2022, all candidates in Alaska will run in the same primary election and the top four will advance to the general election. MORE→ Alaskans have voted to approve Ballot Measure 2, an initiative that drastically changes the state's election system. Starting in 2022, Alaska will hold nonpartisan top-four primaries as opposed to separate primaries for each party, and would enact ranked-choice runoff voting, where voters rank their choices in order of preferences instead of voting for just one candidate. Alaska is now the first state in the nation to hold top-four primaries. Two states, California and Washington, currently use top-two primaries. One state, Maine, currently uses ranked-choice voting. Here's the text of Ballot Measure 2 as it appeared on the ballot: "This act would get rid of the party primary system, and political parties would no longer select their candidates to appear on the general election ballot. Instead, this act would create an open nonpartisan primary where all candidates would appear on one ballot. Candidates could choose to have a political party preference listed next to their name or be listed as 'undeclared' or 'nonpartisan'" The four candidates with the most votes in the primary election would have their names placed on the general election ballot. This act would establish ranked-choice voting for the general election. Voters would have the option to 'rank' candidates in order of choice. Voters would rank their first choice candidate as '1', second choice candidate as '2', and so on. Voters' '1' choice would be counted first. If no candidate received a majority after counting the first-ranked votes, then the candidate with the least amount of '1' votes would be removed from counting. Those ballots that ranked the removed candidate as '1' would then be counted for the voters' '2' ranked candidate. This process would repeat until one candidate received a majority of the remaining votes. If voters still want to choose only one candidate, they can. This act would also require additional disclosures for contributions to independent expenditure groups and relating to the sources of contributions. It would also require a disclaimer on paid election communications by independent expenditure groups funded by a majority of out of state money. Should this initiative become law?" Read the original article on Business Insider MORE→ image https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/results-alaska-approves-amendment-to-enact-top-4-primaries-and-ranked-choice-voting/ar-BB1aCBQU - - - - -
GNews ranked choice voting Alaska Adopts Ranked-Choice Voting System: Election Update MSN 2020-11-18 Arizona’s top elections official says she’s received violent threats. Alaska voters approved a change that could complicate the 2022 Senate race. And President Donald Trump’s supporters say they believe his false claims of massive election fraud. MORE→ (Bloomberg) -- Arizona’s top elections official says she’s received violent threats. Alaska voters approved a change that could complicate the 2022 Senate race. And President Donald Trump’s supporters say they believe his false claims of massive election fraud. There are 20 days until the deadline for states to certify their results, 26 days until the Electoral College meets, 49 days until Congress certifies the results and 63 days until inauguration. Other Developments: End of Year Means End of Federal Aid for Millions of AmericansBiden Calls for GSA to Allow Official Transition to BeginTrump Campaign Asks for Partial Vote Recount in Wisconsin Trump Backers’ Michigan Claims Called a ‘Grab-Bag of Falsehoods’Alaska’s Top Elections Official Says She’s Received Violent Threats Arizona’s top elections official says her family and staff have received violent threats and called on Trump and Governor Doug Ducey to acknowledge the results of the November election. Secretary of State Katie Hobbs issued a statement blaming the president, members of Congress and other elected officials who have made baseless claims of massive voting fraud for the “threats of violence and vitriol” she’s faced. “I am calling on other leaders in this state, including the governor, whose deafening silence has contributed to the growing unrest, to stand up for the truth,” she said. Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, Philadelphia elections officials and other local elections clerks have also received death threats over their handling of the election. Alaska Approves Ranked-Choice Voting on Statewide Races Alaska will become the second state in the country to allow ranked-choice voting for statewide races. With all the ballots counted as of Wednesday, Alaska voters have narrowly approved a dramatic shift to ranked-choice voting, in which voters rank the candidates. If no candidate wins a majority on the first round, lower-ranking candidates are eliminated and second-choice votes redistributed. The ballot measure also creates a “top four” primary, in which candidates from all parties will be on the same ballot and the top four vote-getters will advance to the general election. The change could complicate Senator Lisa Murkowski’s 2022 relection effort. She is the only person in history to win three Senate races without a majority of the vote. In 2016, Murkowski fended off a strong challenge from a Libertarian candidate as well as independent and Democratic candidates, while in 2010, she ran as a write-in candidate against a Republican and a Democrat. Alaska is the second state to adopt ranked-choice voting in federal elections, after Maine, where Senator Susan Collins won a majority on the first ballot this year. Trump Supporters Echo His False Claims of Election Fraud (11:43 a.m.) More than three-fourths of Trump supporters say they believe his false claims of massive fraud in a new poll. In a Monmouth University poll released Wednesday, 77% of Trump backers say that President-elect Joe Biden’s win was due to fraud, compared to 32% of respondents overall. Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute, said the poll showed the “deep partisan divisions” in the election’s aftermath tied to a belief that it was stolen. “It’s not unusual for backers on the losing side to take a while to accept the results,” Murray said. “It is quite another thing for the defeated candidate to prolong that process by spreading groundless conspiracy theories. This is dangerous territory for the Republic’s stability.” The poll of 810 Americans was conducted from Nov. 12-16. It has a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points. -- Emma Kinery Twitter Head Confirms Trump’s Special Status Will End (10:45 a.m.) Trump’s tweets could get him in trouble with the social media giant starting on Jan. 20. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey told the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday that it will treat the president like any other user after President-elect Joe Biden is sworn in. That means Trump will be barred from making threats, harassing other users or violating copyright -- three things he’s occasionally done as president. Since he was a global leader, Twitter has either flagged the Trump tweet with a warning or disabled a video, but not suspended his account or forced him to delete the tweet. “If an account is suddenly not a world leader any more, that particular policy goes away,” Dorsey said. While Trump hasn’t been suspended from Twitter, his son, Donald Jr., was briefly suspended from tweeting in July after sharing a video that claimed that hydroxychloroquine is a cure for the coronavirus. Two Senate Runoffs Essentially Tied in Georgia (8:40 a.m.) The fate of President-elect Joe Biden’s agenda is on a knife’s edge in Georgia, where two Senate runoffs are essentially tied. With control of the Senate dependent on the outcome of the Jan. 5 races, a new poll from Insider Advantage for Fox 5 Atlanta shows extremely tight races. Republican Senator Kelly Loeffler had 48% support to Democratic challenger Raphael Warnock’s 49%, with 3% undecided. Republican Senator David Perdue and Democratic challenger Jon Ossoff both had 49% support, with 2% undecided. © Source: Bloomberg Warnock Loeffler Perdue Ossoff combo Raphael Warnock, Kelly Loeffler, David Perdue, Jon Ossoff Source: Bloomberg In what could be a bad sign for the GOP, Republican Governor Brian Kemp’s approval slipped to 37%, with 44% disapproving, as President Donald Trump has blasted him and other state officials with false claims of voter fraud and election mismanagement. The survey of 800 likely voters was taken Nov. 16. It has a margin of error of plus-or-minus 3.5 percentage points. Coming Up: Biden will participate in a virtual roundtable with frontline health care workers in Wilmington, Delaware, on Wednesday. For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com ©2020 Bloomberg L.P. MORE→ image https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/alaska-adopts-ranked-choice-voting-system-election-update/ar-BB1b89YQ?tblci=GiAgGEd08DRFYF0Hhxuu3aLDVklnaJUjAXHcwSSHlg0b6SCC-00 - - - - -
GNews ranked choice voting Alaska becomes second state to approve ranked-choice voting Spencer Neale Washington Examiner 2020-11-18 We now have an electoral system that lives up to Alaska’s independent streak by saying, 'To hell with politics, let’s do what is right for Alaska' MORE→ In a vote that barely passed, Alaskans chose to adopt ranked-choice voting in statewide elections going forward. According to the Alaska Division of Elections, which submitted results of the 2020 election on Tuesday, 50.55% of Alaska’s voters supported Ballot Measure 2, confirming the use of ranked-choice voting on future ballots. Ranked-choice voting allows voters to rank their choices from favorite to least, instead of choosing one candidate. Shea Siegert, who led the main group supporting the ballot measure, called the election win a "victory for all Alaskans." “We now have an electoral system that lives up to Alaska’s independent streak by saying, 'To hell with politics, let’s do what is right for Alaska,'” Siegert said in a nod to former U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens. Alaska joins Maine in using the ballot option after residents of the northeastern state approved its use in the 2016 elections and used the method to select candidates in statewide elections in 2018 and the presidential election in 2020. Beginning in 2022, Alaska will do away with two separate political primaries, and the top four vote-getters, regardless of political party, will advance to the general election. MORE→ image https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/alaska-becomes-second-state-to-approve-ranked-choice-voting - - -

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