Better Elections Are Possible!

How we vote now | Ranked-Choice Voting | Proportional Representation

How we vote now: winner takes all

Currently we vote for one candidate in each race. It doesn’t matter if you would be fine with several candidates to various degrees; you have to choose one and hope they have the most support. In this system, the candidate that has the highest percent of the vote — whether that is 20% or 80% — wins the election. There are some serious problems with this method of voting, not the least of which are:

  • The winner often has less than majority support.
  • Many voters fear splitting the vote and electing their least preferred candidate.
  • High cost negative campaigning to discourage voters from supporting political opponents is common place.

There are better ways to vote!


Ranked-Choice Voting

With Ranked-Choice Voting, instead of voting for one candidate, we can vote for multiple in order of preference (ex: 1st choice, 2nd choice, 3rd choice, ect.). The candidate with the fewest number of votes is removed and their votes are redistributed to each voter’s next choice. This is repeated until one candidate remains.

Lets say you vote for:
Candidate B as your 1st choice,
Candidate D as your 2nd choice, and
Candidate A as your 3rd choice.

For this example, lets say Candidate B had the fewest 1st choice votes. Your 1st choice is removed from the election, but fear not, because unlike with our current system, your vote doesn’t get removed with your candidate. Your vote gets added to your 2nd choice (Candidate D). If your 2nd choice is removed, your vote will be added to the next remaining preferred candidate.

There are many benefits to Ranked Choice Voting:

  • Eliminates the “spoiler” effect (vote splitting).
  • Encourages thoughtful, qualified candidates from all areas of political discourse.
  • Results in more representative outcomes.
  • Promotes more substantive campaigning.
  • Reduces the impact of money on election outcomes.

Voters have used, understood, and liked RCV in: Berkeley; San Francisco; Oakland; Minneapolis; St. Paul; Portland, Maine, Takoma Park, Maryland, Cambridge, and Massachusetts.


Proportional Representation

Proportional Representation is a much more democratic way to elect our legislators and more proportionately reflects the will of the voters. Rather than electing one candidate at a time in multiple races, we elect the top candidates from one combined race to fill legislative seats.

For example, lets say a city has 5 council members. Rather than having a separate race for each council seat, which would mean the same majority picking all the council members, the city would have one race for the city council and the 5 with the most support would be elected. This allows for each council member to represent about 1/5 of the voters rather than every council member representing just over half.


Please get involved in the initiative! Signature-gathering efforts are needed! Our numbers are growing! We have groups in:

If you can help collect signatures in Seattle, would like to get a group going in your area, or just more information in general, contact Cindy Black at cindy@fixdemocracyfirst.org or 206-552-3287. Areas we could use help: Spokane County; Yakima & Tri-Cities; and Vancouver/Clark County.

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