Thanks to this Ballot Access News article posted by San Francisco-based and widely-respected election expert and advocate for third party/independent ballot access Richard Winger, you can see how an innovative new election reform is coming to Portland, Oregon. From the article:
On November 8, Portland, Oregon voters will decide whether to pass an initiative to change future city council elections. The initiative provides for single transferable voting, which is a form of proportional representation. There would be four city council districts, each electing three members. Candidates with slightly more than 25% support would be elected. Thus minority as well as majority viewpoints would be represented on the council.
The Portland Tribune endorsed the measure in its October 13 issue. The Portland Tribune is a free weekly print publication. Thanks to Fairvote for this news. The editorial itself is behind a pay wall.
According to the Electoral Reform Society, “an independent campaigning organisation working to champion the rights of voters and build a better democracy in Great Britain and Northern Ireland”, the single transferable vote system is used in other countries:
The Single Transferable Vote (STV) is a form of proportional representation created in Britain. Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, Malta, Scotland and Australia use this system for some or all of their elections. In America, it is often referred to as ‘ranked-choice voting in multi-member seats’, in Australia they call it ‘Hare-Clark’.
As the Electoral Reform Society explains:
Rather than one person representing everyone in a small area, bigger areas elect a small team of representatives, such as 4 or 5. These representatives reflect the diversity of opinions in the area.
On election day, voters number a list of candidates. Their favourite as number one, their second favourite number two, and so on. Voters can put numbers next to as many or as few candidates as they like. Parties will often stand more than one candidate in each area.
The numbers tell the people counting to move your vote if your favourite candidate has enough votes already or stands no chance of winning.
Also, visit the main Democracy Chronicles section on American Democracy or our articles on Money Politics and Worldwide Corruption.
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