Posted by Drew Penrose on November 17, 2017
The League of Women Voters of Oregon (LWV-OR), after conducting a multi-year in depth study on the topic, has decided to join more than a dozen other state LWV chapters in supporting ranked choice voting.
The decision comes following an extensive process in which supporters of various election methods, including vote-for-one plurality, delayed runoffs, rating methods (like range voting and approval voting), and ranking methods were all heard. The League applied a series of objective criteria to each of these methods. This culminated in a 67-page report of voting methods, as well as this executive summary of that report.
This year, the LWV-OR added the following to its list of current positions:
The League of Women Voters of Oregon recognizes that election methods affect how voters participate in our democracy, who can run for office, and who can get elected. Therefore, the League supports election methods that:
- Encourage voter participation and voter engagement.
- Encourage those with minority opinions to participate.
- Are easy to use.
- Are verifiable and auditable.
- Promote access to voting.
- Promote competitive elections.
- Promote sincere voting over strategic voting.
- Discourage negative campaigning.
- Prevent political manipulation (e.g. Gerrymandering).
- Are compatible with vote-by-mail elections.
The League of Women Voters of Oregon does not believe that plurality voting is the best method for promoting democratic choice in all circumstances. For single-winner systems, the League supports ranked-choice voting; we do not support range or approval voting.
The League of Women Voters of Oregon supports election systems that elect policy-making bodies–legislatures, councils, commissions, and boards–that proportionally reflect the people they represent. We support systems that promote stable government, but we do not support systems that protect the two-party system.
The League of Women Voters of Oregon supports enabling legislation to allow local jurisdictions to explore alternative election methods. If an alternative election method is adopted, then funding for startup and voter education should be available.
The League of Women Voters of Oregon does not support nonpartisan elections for state legislators.
See our fact sheet on the LWV-OR's decision below: