Prince Edward Island Will Hold Ranked Choice Voting Referendum on Electoral Reforms

Posted by Austin Plier on July 15, 2016

Prince Edward Island, Canada, has announced it will hold a non-binding referendum on five different electoral reforms in fall. Paul Alan, communications director for Elections PEI said that, "The idea is just to get a better overview of what Island voters want. Are people happy with the way things are now, or is it time for a change?"

The vote will be held online over the course of 10 days, from October 29th to November 7th. Voters will weigh in on five options using ranked choice voting:

  • First-past-the-post, the status quo in which the candidate with the most votes wins the seat.

  • First-past-the-post plus leaders, which would also give a seat to the leader of any party that wins 10 per cent of the provincial popular vote.

  • Dual member proportional, which assigns half the seats through the current system and the other half based on the provincial popular vote.

  • Mixed member proportional, which includes both district representatives and province-wide members selected by voters from a party list.

  • Ranked choice voting in single-winner districts (to be called "preferential voting" on the ballot), in which voters rank the candidates, last-place candidate lose, and their ballots are added to to the totals of the next-ranked candidates until someone wins 50 per cent of the vote.

It will be the first electronic votes and the first votes cast by 16 and 17 year olds in any kind of provincial election in Canada. 

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