What is the project? The project is for the City and County of San Francisco to develop and certify an open source paper-ballot voting system, as described in detail by a resolution passed unanimously by the San Francisco Elections Commission in November 2015.
What is an open source voting system? An open source voting system is a voting system consisting of open source software running on commercial off-the-shelf (COTS, aka “commodity”) hardware. Open source software is software that is free for anyone to inspect, use, and improve. The software is public and non-proprietary. The Firefox web browser and the Linux and Android operating systems are three widely used examples of open source software. Open source software is used heavily by successful technology companies large and small.Read more
There are numerous ways to assess an electoral system. Mathematicians and political scientists have developed hundreds of different criteria, with the most common including the majority criterion, the later-no-harm criterion and the Condorcet winner criterion.
The Condorcet winner criterion is one of the most common criteria. It states that the candidate who would win a one-on-one matchup against any other candidate should win the election. The frequency with which an electoral system elects Condorcet winners is a good measure of whether the election system reflects the political center of a given electorate, since a Condorcet winner, by definition, has to be able to win over a majority of the electorate regardless of alternative choices.
A system that more often elects Condorcet winners will less often elect a candidate disliked by the majority of voters--an outcome that US voters in plurality elections and low turnout runoffs know all too well. It is hard to estimate how many US elections using plurality and runoff systems elect candidates disliked by a majority of voters, but we all have anecdotes of reviled politicians who somehow manage to keep being re-elected.Read more
Last November, voters in San Francisco, Berkeley, Oakland and San Leandro had the opportunity to vote in ranked choice voting elections (RCV), which gives voters a stronger voice and greater choice in our elections.
In San Francisco, voter turnout was 80.7% of registered voters casting a ballot -- down 0.5% from 2008, but representing more city voters than ever before in history at 414,516 votes.
San Francisco Supervisor Eric Mar was termed out in 2016, which left an open seat on the Board of Supervisors. Nine (9) candidates entered the race. Current San Francisco Unified School District Commissioner Sandra Lee Fewer emerged as the winner in this election. The analysis below provides an overview of how she won in an RCV election.Read more
Our friends at the Center for Civic Design are looking for people to help test some new ballot designs and voter education materials, to help make voting a better experience.
If you live and vote in San Francisco or Alameda County, they'd love to have you participate in their research study.Read more
I went to bed late Tuesday night/Wednesday morning refreshing all of my web browsers trying to keep up with all of the election results. With Election Day behind us, there are exciting opportunities and challenges ahead. I hope we can agree that our election system has a direct impact on who will represent us. As we still process election results at the local and national level, you can turn to us for an analysis of ranked choice voting elections from now until the untold future.Read more
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 10, 2016
FOR INFORMATION, CONTACT:
California: Pedro Hernandez, Deputy Director, FairVote California
(415) 613-2363 / firstname.lastname@example.org
National: Michelle C. Whittaker, Director of Communications, FairVote
(301) 270-1238 / (301) 270-4616 / email@example.com
Bay Area Ranked Choice Voting Elections Analysis
Strong showing of voters embracing ranked choice voting, majority winners determined with broad support
San Francisco, CA — Voters used ranked ballots in twelve (12) competitive races featuring more than two candidates in San Francisco, Berkeley, and Oakland. FairVote California’s (FVCA) early analysis of the results shows advantages for candidates that actively campaigned for second and third choice support from voters. The four Bay Area cities with ranked choice voting continue to have among the most diverse representatives in the nation, with new winners including Jesse Arreguin becoming the first Latino mayor of Berkeley with a 59% to 41% win in the final instant runoff in an eight-candidate race.Read more
This piece was originally published by Mission Local.
In March 2002, San Francisco voters passed ranked choice voting as an amendment to the City Charter, and it has been used in every city election since 2004. San Francisco is one of four Bay Area cities that will use ranked choice voting to elect its officials this November 8. This means San Francisco voters will have the freedom to rank their favorite candidates in order of preference and elect their District Supervisors in one efficient trip to the polls when turnout is at its peak.Read more