Green Party Praises Ranked Choice Voting' Success in San Francisco; Saves $3 Million, Gives Voters More Choices at Ballot Box
GREEN PARTY OF CALIFORNIA NEWS RELEASE
For immediate release: Thursday, Nov. 10, 2004
Cres Vellucci, State Press Office, 916-996-1970,
Beth Moore Haines, GPCA Spokesperson, 530-277-0610,
Sara Amir, GPCA Spokesperson, 310-270-7106,
SAN FRANCISCO (Nov. 10, 2004) An innovative "Ranked Choice" voting system
saving taxpayers millions of dollars and giving voters more choices at
the ballot box passed a big test here Nov. 2 with flying colors, said the
Green Party of California, which has long advocated the system.
Using Ranked Choice (or Instant Runoff) Voting in its Board of Supervisors
election, San Franciscans elected seven winners including three
supervisors on election night and four supervisors a few days later. All
the winners would have been known within 24 hours of the Nov. 2 election if
there had not been a minor equipment glitch, said observers.
The system success means that taxpayers do not have to spend an estimated
$3 million for the usual December runoff election. And, campaigns did not
have to spend the additional monies for the runoff, which usually has a low
Ranked Choice Voting allows voters to elect officials by selecting a
first-choice candidate and different second- and third-choice candidates.
If a candidate receives 50 percent or more votes, that candidate wins
outright. If not, those receiving the fewest votes are eliminated and the
voter's next choice is counted. This process continues until a 50 percent
winner is chosen.
"The San Francisco election was a win for voters, and for Democracy," said
Steven Hill of the Center for Voting and Democracy. "The fast results mean
that San Francisco avoided a December runoff election (which ) were
notoriously negative," added Hill, noting that the winners in the election
won with more votes than in the last San Francisco runoff election. In
short, the system appeared to have encouraged voter participation.
In addition to the GPCA, a host of social justice, minority and
environmental groups including the League of Women Voters and United Farm
Workers support Ranked Choice Voting, as well as Sen. John McCain and
former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean.
The Green Party of California
P.O. Box 2828, Sacramento, CA 95812
Phone: (916) 448-3437