California Senate Passes Bill to Expand Options for Local Elections

Posted by Ethan Fitzgerald on May 24, 2016

Yesterday, the California State Senate voted in favor of SB 1288, which enables all of the state’s general law jurisdictions to use majority-winner voting methods, including ranked choice voting. The bill, which was sponsored by Senator Mark Leno, Californians for Electoral Reform, and California Common Cause passed 24-12 with “aye” votes coming from senators in both parties.

Charter cities 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 majority winner methods such as the two-round runoff and ranked choice voting in both single- and multi-winner forms.  If the law is passed in the Assembly and signed by the Governor, voters in general law cities can choose to improve local elections by guaranteeing majority rule and fair representation.

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