Voices & Choices

Bringing Ranked Choice Voting to New York City

Bringing Ranked Choice Voting to New York City

On September 25, I had a chance to celebrate my birthday — and testify before the New York City Council's Committee on Governmental Operations via Zoom. The hearing focused on challenges New York City faces in running fair presidential elections this fall in the middle of a pandemic. My focus was on the City’s next elections — ones that could be as soon as January to fill vacant seats — that are supposed to be conducted in city council districts with ranked choice voting (RCV). In June, hotly contested partisan primaries with RCV are scheduled for open seats for mayor, most borough presidents and most city council seats.

In 2019, a charter commission voted 13-1 in favor of establishing RCV for all city primary elections and all special elections. In a vote of the people, 74% of voters agreed. City and state election officials have important work to do, as do other government agencies and civic groups. To provide a sense of that work, my testimony —  linked here — provides a summary of key topics from a report FairVote did after San Francisco’s first use of ranked choice voting in 2004.

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