Voices & Choices

Portland, Oregon could be the next American city with proportional RCV

Portland, Oregon could be the next American city with proportional RCV

On Tuesday, Portland, Oregon’s Charter Commission voted 17 to 3 to send a referendum that includes proportional ranked choice voting (PRCV) to the November ballot.

If it passes, the city would be divided into 4 geographic districts of equal population. Each district would elect 3 members to the city council using PRCV, which picks winners in accordance with the size of voting blocks in the city. Click through these slides to see how PRCV works:

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PRCV ensures that nearly all voters see someone they voted for elected to a legislature, even if they don’t share the same views as most of their neighbors. In a city like Portland, it would help more women, candidates of color, and people with diverse opinions be elected to the city council.

The city’s Coalition of Communities of Color hailed the Charter Commission vote as a victory, saying that “our democracy is strongest when all voters have a voice to represent their perspective on the city council.”

This vote makes Portland the third community in the Pacific Northwest that will hold a referendum on ranked choice voting this November. Clark County and San Juan County in Washington have already confirmed they will hold votes on it, and there are active movements to put RCV on the ballot statewide in Nevada and Missouri. RCV is already used in Benton County, Oregon.

To support ranked choice voting in your state, get involved with one of our passionate partner organizations located around the country.

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