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The Board of Supervisors race in District 10 was an unprecedented race in San Francisco’s seven-year history of using ranked choice voting (the first RCV elections took place in 2004). It featured 21 candidates, no incumbent and no obvious front runners. That resulted in an election in which the winning candidate, Malia Cohen, barely edged out the competition in an exceptionally close race.Given the parameters of this race, RCV functioned smoothly to produce a winner that was preferred by the most voters. It fostered a degree of coalition-building as candidates and voters used the ranked ballots effectively, and unlike other races this race was substantially free of negative, mudslinging attacks as the multi-candidate field focused on seeking the second and third rankings from the supporters of other candidates.
- Posted: November 23, 2010
- Posted: November 19, 2010
The city of Oakland, as well as the cities of Berkeley and San Leandro, all used ranked choice voting (RCV, also known as instant runoff voting) for the first time in the November 2, 2010 elections. Oakland used RCV for elections for mayor, city auditor, city council and school board. For its extremely close mayoral election, the non-profit educational organization FairVote has analyzed the electronic ballot images made publicly available by the Alameda County Registrar of Voters (the ballot images are anonymous digital records of every voter's ballot counted to that date).
- Posted: November 11, 2010
On November 11, Don Perata held a news conference to announce that he was conceding the election for mayor of Oakland. At the same time, he criticized ranked choice voting used in this election, and his campaign distributed a document called “Ranked Choice Voting in Oakland’s Mayoral Election, 2010: Internal analysis by the Perata for Mayor Campaign, with external assistance.” FairVote, a non-profit organization that includes ranked choice voting among its research interests and reform priorities, developed the following response.
- Posted: November 10, 2010
Analysis of the Oakland mayoral election results show that a significant majority of Oakland voters successfully used the RCV system to express their preferences among the mayoral candidates.
- Posted: November 8, 2010
The city of Oakland, as well as the cities of Berkeley and San Leandro, all used ranked choice voting (RCV, also known as instant runoff voting) for the first time in the November 2, 2010 elections. Oakland used RCV for elections for mayor, city auditor, city council and school board. For its extremely close mayoral election, the non-profit educational organization FairVote has analyzed the electronic ballot images made publicly available on Friday afternoon by the Alameda County Registrar of Voters (the ballot images are anonymous digital records of every voter's ballot counted to that date).
- Posted: November 4, 2010
- Categories: Research & Analysis
Election Day brought big changes this year. Republicans took control of the U.S. House of Representatives decisively, while the Democratic Party narrowly held onto the U.S. Senate. With a majority of the nation’s governors being elected, Republicans made key gains. While the media’s narrative will undoubtedly focus on the winners and losers, our Non-Majority Rule desk will zero in on how plurality voting rules skewed and distorted several elections – and led to some underhanded campaign tactics.
- Posted: November 2, 2010
FairVote policy proposals for instant runoff voting (IRV) and the National Popular Vote plan (NPV) had a particularly big July. Massachusetts became the sixth state to enact NPV - see Rob Richie's commentary for YES magazine and Jules Leconte's review of the win and widepsread media coverage, including an oped from Michael Dukakis. Charter comissions in Maine's biggest city (Portland) and Tennessee's biggest county (Shelby) voted overwhelmingly to place IRV on the november ballot, while the preliminary report of New York City's charter commission recommended IRV for mayor, as backed by Rob Richie in the New York Times. New jurisdictions holding IRV elections this year include Oakland (mayor) and North Carolina (three judicial elections), while FairVote's Cathy Le explains Australia's upcoming national IRV election. An oped by FairVote's Alec Slatky calling for IRV in Alabama primaries drew interest from political leaders, while Politico also ran a Slatky-Richie oped on IRV... Read more
FairVote supervised voter education and outreach for cumulative voting elections in Port Chester (NY), with its June 15 elections drawing major coverage in the New York Times and Associated Press -- and a turnout boost of 25% and first-ever wins for African American and Latino candidates, along with an independent. Instant runoff voting had a big month: a charter commission in Portland (ME) voted 10-2 to put IRV on the November ballot for mayoral races, IRV drew major coverage in the New York Times, FiveThirtyEight.com, FireDogLake and leading North Carolina newspapers, and Oakland is among cities gearing up for first IRV elections. In the United Kingdom, a national referendum to adopt IRV is planned for May 2011; the Commons recently used IRV for key internal elections, and the Labor Party is using IRV to elect its new leader.
FairVote also celebrated key state wins for its policy proposals. Delaware's state legislature passed voter pre-registrationfor 16-year-olds, and the New York State Senate passed the National Popular Vote plan (by 52-7) and a bill to establish an IRV pilot program. Additional National Popular Vote progress included landslide passage in the Massachusetts House, testimony by FairVote's Rob Richie in the District of Columbia in favor of the bill introduced by 11 of 13 city councilors and new FairVote research on startling disparities in campaign fundraising and spending in the 2008 presidential election. The National Popular Vote plan was backed in a New York Times editorial and by the League of Women Voters at its binannual national convention, where FairVote's Rob Richie led a workshop.
New FairVote writings included Richie's Washington Post oped on electing U.S. Senate vacancies and new EndGerrymandering.com blogposts by Patrick Withers on redistricting reform in the states and why winner-take-all forces some districts to "look funny". Much more on the FairVote twitter.