Last week, students at the University of California - Santa Barbara elected the Associated Students executives and Senate for the 2016-17 school year. This was the first election held using multi-winner ranked choice voting, or single transferable vote, to elect the Senate.
The results show a great leap forward for campus democracy at UCSB. In addition to an increase in voter turnout from last year, the election sees three new parties winning seats in the Senate. While student government had previously been dominated entirely by one party under the old first past the post system, use of multi-winner RCV will allow more views to be represented.
Congratulations to all the newly elected officers, and to the elections committee for successfully implementing a change that allows everyone’s voices to be heard.