Monday, July 9, 2018

OR Counties New Variation of Approval Voting May Appear on Ballot

Thanks to Richard Winger of Ballot Access News for this post.

One Fair Election proposed a New Voting System, developed in 2014 by some of the Nation's Top Voting Reform Experts. Instead of Limiting the Voter to Supporting just One Candidate, STAR Voting, “Score-then-Automatic-Runoff”, allows Voters to Rate All the Candidates similar to how we Rate Books on Amazon, Restaurants on Yelp, and Songs on iTunes. Whether we've seen the Olympics or ever been Graded on a Homework Assignment, Scoring is a Understood, Ubiquitous Method, of expressing a fine degree of Opinion on a Subject.

The Equal Vote Coalition's Mission is to Promote True Equality in the Vote itself. They feel Our Current Voting Method is inherently Unequal, and this Inequality has decidedly Negative Consequences: Outsized Influence of Money in Politics, Hyper-Partisan Rancor, and Widespread Electoral Disenchantment.

CLICK HERE to view their website.

STAR Voting is now under Petition for use in Real Political Races for the First Time. Twin Campaigns in Multnomah and Lane Counties in Oregon are Engaged in Signature Gathering efforts to put the Ability to Vote with STAR Voting to the Voters this November. Adoption at the Local Level will be followed by a Push to Adopt STAR Voting at the Statewide and National Level as well.

The Supporters of Approval Voting appear to have Qualified an Initiative in Lane County. If the County Initiative has enough Valid Signatures and is Approved for the Ballot, Lane County Voters would Vote on the Idea in November 2018.

In Order to get this on the Multnomah Ballot they need to collect over 23,000 Verified Signatures by July 15th. That would get the Initiative on the November Ballot. If the Initiative Passes it would be Implemented by 2020.

This type of Approval Voting is New. First, the Voters Assign a Numerical Value from 0 to 5, Registering how much they Like each Candidate listed on the Ballot. It is not necessary for the Voter to do this for each Candidate listed, by Assigning Zero or not entering a Value. Then, the Sum Total for each Candidate is Calculated.

The Vote for the Two Highest Candidates is then Re-Examined, and the Number of Voters, among the Voters who Assigned a Score to each Candidate, who preferred One of the Two candidates, relative to the other Candidate, is Checked. Of the Two Candidates, the One preferred by the Most Voters Wins.

In such a System, if a Voter Assigns an Equal Score to each of the Two Top Candidates, then their Vote is Discounted as an Abstention. This Feature of the System Motivates Voters to give Sincere Scores.

This System, along with Ranked-Choice Voting, has the virtue of being held in the General Election, when Public Interest is Highest. It allows the Primary to be Eliminated, which also saves Election Administration Cost. Look at how Louisiana Votes with No Primary, and all the Candidates on One General Election Ballot.

NYC Wins When Everyone Can Vote! Michael H. Drucker
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