Voices & Choices

Major win for ranked choice voting in Colorado

Major win for ranked choice voting in Colorado

With the passage of ranked choice voting (RCV) legislation in states across the US, the voting system is proving to have wide bipartisan appeal. 

Today, Colorado Governor Jared Polis signed a bill to make it easier for Colorado cities to opt-in to RCV by giving them technical support through their county clerks’ offices. This will enable cities that are interested in RCV to successfully implement the system. 

Several cities in Colorado already use RCV, including Basalt, Carbondale, and Telluride. The support that this bill provides will make it easier for more jurisdictions, including larger cities, to implement RCV. Denver is already considering the change due to the benefits RCV provides, such as eliminating cumbersome runoff elections. 

Colorado State Rep. Chris Kennedy spoke in favor of HB 1071, the bill signed into law today by Governor Jared Polis. 

“Colorado’s state-of-the-art elections system is a model for the rest of the nation because we’re not afraid to look for new avenues to expand voter access while keeping our elections secure. This bill accomplishes that goal by allowing localities to run ranked-choice elections through their counties and asks the Secretary of State’s office to establish an audit system to ensure the elections are working as they should.” -- Rep. Chris Kennedy

Similarly, in 2018, the Utah legislature passed a pilot program to allow cities to opt into RCV, which has been expanded upon in the last few years. This year, 23 Utah cities signed up to participate. Stan Lockhart, the former Chair of the Utah Republican Party and advocate with Utah Ranked Choice Voting, commented on his support for the RCV measure. 

“Good governance starts locally, which is why we’re thrilled so many Utah cities have embraced ranked choice voting. This will be an opportunity for Utahns to test out ranked choice voting ballots for themselves, and we’re confident that Utahns will appreciate being offered back-up choices in the ballot box.” -- Stan Lockhart

Although Colorado and Utah may have very different political demographics, one area on which voters and legislators in each state agree is the benefits of RCV. Today’s law passed in Colorado is a big step toward the expansion of RCV in jurisdictions across the state, and it sets an example for other states hoping to support cities in implementing RCV. 

Those looking to continue the movement for RCV in the Centennial State can check out Ranked Choice Voting for Colorado.

Photo via <a href="https://www.goodfreephotos.com/">Good Free Photos</a>

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