Voices & Choices

Everything you need to know about RCV and San Francisco's mayoral race

Everything you need to know about RCV and San Francisco's mayoral race

In a piece for BeyondChron, a San Francisco-based news site, FairVote California Deputy Director Pedro Hernandez takes a detailed look at the June election for mayor and how ranked choice voting (RCV) empowers the voters who will selecting their new chief executive.

Because there are eight candidates vying for the office – former state Senator Mark Leno, Board of Supervisors President and current acting Mayor London Breed, Supervisor Jane Kim, former Supervisor Angela Alioto, Director of San Francis Homelessness Challenge Amy Farah Weiss, Richie Greenberg, Ellen Lee Zhou, and Michelle Bravo – the city will be well-served by RCV’s mechanism to determine a winner with a majority of support from voters.

Hernandez observes that RCV has been working very well in San Francisco since 2004. He shows that more voters participate in one decisive election than those with runoffs, and, that with RCV, there has been a greater diversity among office holders, bringing more fair representation to city government.

The piece also notes how RCV rewards candidates who reach out to those beyond their base of supporters, to earn 2nd choice votes which could mean a path to victory. Hernandez writes, “…in order to win critical crossover support, candidates must conduct meaningful community outreach… expect to see campaigns that are more focused on issues and values rather than mudslinging – it’s these elements that voters often look to in a candidate.”

It’s a fascinating look at an election that will no doubt gain national attention. To read the full piece, click here.

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