California Bill to Expand Options for Local Elections Goes to Governor Brown

Posted by Grace Ramsey on August 26, 2016

Senate Bill 1288, sponsored by Senator Mark Leno, which enables all of the state’s general law jurisdictions to use fairer voting methods, including ranked choice voting, passed the state assembly last Thursday 46-26. The bill passed the State Senate back in May and is now headed to the desk of Governor Jerry Brown.

Charter cities in California such as Berkeley, Oakland, San Francisco, and San Leandro already use ranked choice voting to elect local officials. SB 1288 allows each city, county, and school district in the state to use voting methods including ranked choice voting in both single- and multi-winner forms. If the law is signed by the Governor, voters in general law cities can choose to improve local elections with ranked choice voting by guaranteeing majority rule and fair representation.

In addition to the hard work of Senator Leno, Californians for Electoral Reform and California Common Cause have been champions of this effort. Several other organizations have endorsed the legislation, including: Asian American Action Fund, Americans Advancing Justice- California, Democracy for America,  League of California Cities, League of Women Voters of California, Los Angeles Voters for Instant Runoff Elections, Mendocino County Board of Supervisors, Oakland Rising, and the Southwest Voter Registration Education Project.

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