At the November 2017 Executive Board meeting of the California Democratic Party (CDP) in Millbrae, California, the Rural Caucus chose nearly unanimously to adopt ranked choice voting (RCV) for the election of all of its officers. The language for this adoption can be found in Standing Rule #1, Articles V and VII and noted that "Instant Runoff Voting" and RCV are considered the same thing.
The first RCV election will be held at the CDP Convention in San Diego February 23-25 to replace the chair who resigned earlier this year. Following this election, at future biennial conventions RCV elections will be held for chair, 10 regional chairs, secretary, treasurer and communications officer pursuant to Article III, Section 1.A where any or all of those races are contested.
The Rural Caucus chose RCV for its many benefits as an electoral system over plurality voting systems. In the absence of a party system internal to the caucus, the key points included:
- Empowerment of voters to be able to select more than just one choice per office in order of preference.
- The ability of RCV to encourage newcomers to run for office without the fear of vote splitting issues and still have a chance to win.
- Promoting fairness and civility since winners are more broadly representative and voters can still have a voice if their first choice candidate is unable to win.
If you’ll be attending the CDP Convention, this weekend in San Diego, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Glenn Glazer is a delegate to the California Democratic Party representing Assembly District 29 and a regional chair of its Rural Caucus. He has a bachelor's in pure mathematics and a master's in computer security, both from UCLA, and currently works as a senior software engineer for Linden Lab. In his past, he's worked on and overseen a number of ranked choice elections and counts, including the Hugo Awards for best in science fiction and the site selection races for the World Science Fiction Convention.