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.
Bay Area voters used ranked ballots in twelve (12) competitive races featuring more than two candidates in Berkeley, Oakland, and San Francisco. Early analysis of the results shows advantages for candidates that actively campaigned for second and third choice support from voters. We are also seeing a strong use of rankings, which is a positive indicator that voters are utilizing the greater choice available to them. With ranked choice voting, voters do not have to fear that a vote for their true preference will split the vote and allow a spoiler candidate to win.
We also have exciting news coming from the opposite side of the country in Maine! Ranked choice voting is used in 12 cities across the United States, and on November 8, Maine became the first state to adopted ranked choice voting statewide by 52% to 48%, as reported in FairVote’s joint news release with Maine reformers. A ranked choice voting measure also passed in Benton County, Oregon with strong support.
With the first state passage of ranked choice voting, we are optimistic about future plans in California and across the country to ensure voters have a fair election system that will result in better representation. Stay tuned and we’ll keep you updated on our future work!
Jennifer S. Pae
FairVote California Director