Voices & Choices

Ranked choice voting bill introduced in the nation’s capital

Ranked choice voting bill introduced in the nation’s capital

On July 14, Councilmember Christina Henderson introduced the VOICE Amendment Act in Washington, DC’s city council. If passed, it would implement ranked choice voting (RCV) in the District’s elections, including those for U.S. President, Mayor, Attorney General, city council members, and Delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives. 

The act would make Washington, DC one of the most vibrant democracies in the nation, empowering voters and lifting up the voices of underrepresented communities. It already has support from 7 of the city council members - including Henderson, Charles Allen, Brianne Nadeau, Brooke Pinto, Mary Cheh, Elissa Silverman and Janeese Lewis George. 

“The benefits of RCV are just as diverse as the candidates who are empowered to run under this system. Candidates are incentivized to campaign positively to appeal to the supporters of other candidates as a backup preference… races are more dynamic and collegial with genuine policy debates supplanting negative campaign tactics.” - press release by the office of Councilmember Henderson

Henderson also cited the increasing competitiveness of DC’s elections as a reason to pass RCV legislation now. Many recent elections have seen crowded fields and winners with small shares of the vote. RCV would reduce the risk of vote splitting and free voters to vote their conscience - which is why the Washington Post endorsed RCV in the District last year.

Perhaps more than anywhere else in the nation, policies implemented in Washington, DC influence those pursued in the rest of the country, and in Congress. DC is home to thousands of Congressional staff members, executive branch officials, and think tank leaders - all of whom could soon get firsthand experience with RCV if the bill passes. 

The introduction of the VOICE Amendment Act comes on the heels of numerous other RCV victories last month, including the reintroduction of the Fair Representation Act in Congress and successful implementation in New York City.

Rank The Vote DC has been working tirelessly to build support for the VOICE Amendment Act. Those who want to help it pass can take action by helping them contact the remaining members of the city council.

 

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