On Thursday, June 3, the Clearwater City Council voted to include ranked choice voting (RCV) on the March 2022 ballot. This 4-1 vote determined that the people of Clearwater, Florida will likely be allowed the decision to switch to RCV for future municipal elections - though the council must vote again once final referendum language is drafted.
This victory must also acknowledge the hard work of Rank My Vote Florida. The organization provides education and resources about RCV and engages in lobbying efforts to ensure the issue gains traction and is addressed through legislation.
Clearwater’s move towards RCV marks an exciting step in the direction of more fair and democratic elections on local, state, and national levels. RCV is essential to a democracy in which the candidate with the most support is the candidate who wins the election, as plurality elections often marginalize moderate and independent voters. Clearwater Council member Hoyt Hamilton (R) remarks, “I think the people of Clearwater deserve to have people sitting here that get the majority of the vote.”
RCV also encourages issue-based campaigning rather than negative attack tactics, allowing voters to gain more accurate understandings of the candidates and their stances. Read more about the benefits of switching to ranked choice voting here.