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California Assembly Approves Local Voting System Options

The California Assembly on June 6 passed a bill 47-31 allowing municipalities with home rule charters to use instant runoff and choice voting for local elections. The bill, AB 1294, has moved on to the state Senate for consideration. The bill was referred to the Senate Elections Committee, and a hearing is now scheduled for July 10.

Current state law prohibits most jurisdictions from choosing alternative voting systems. Currently only charter cities and counties can use ranked systems. This means that over three-fourths of cities and counties and over half of all California residents are legally prohibited from reforming elections. Most cities use winner-take-all, and most counties have runoff elections. The bill would not force a particular system on any jurisdiction.

Californians for Electoral Reform (CfER) has led the effort to adopt the legislation.

[ Read AB 1294 ]
Legislative action information from Californians for Electoral Reform
[ More on choice voting ]
[ More on instant runoff voting ]