Colin's Story: San Luis Obispo Election Results

Posted by Jennifer Pae on April 25, 2017


I'm looking again at the election results for San Luis Obispo County, and down on page nine, you can see that the margin in our mayoral race was a mere 46 votes. That's way fewer than the 146 write-in votes. If we'd had ranked-choice voting, it's entirely possible some of those write-in voters' second choice votes could have gone to Jan Marx and swung the election.

I voted for Jan Marx, the incumbent, because I felt like she was doing a fine job, but I also supported Heidi Harmon's platform. It would have been nice if I could have cast a ballot that showed support for both of the candidates, because that ballot would have more accurately reflected my position.

Meanwhile, the next contest down is our City Council race. The six candidates vying for the two seats were largely similar to each other. I had a set of four candidates that I was bound to be fine with, with a subset of three candidates that I figured I'd be about equally happy with. Without ranked-choice voting, I couldn't cast a ballot hat reflected those preferences; I had to pick two of the three and hope for the best.

Now I hope that our new mayor and new councilpersons can add San Luis Obispo to the list of cities that use RCV!

Colin Bartolome is a software developer and registered as a No Party Preference.

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  • Jennifer Pae