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Statement from FairVote Washington

Ranked-choice voting (RCV) is worth getting right. That’s why we support Councilmember Girmay Zahilay’s decision to postpone an ordinance that would have put RCV on the November ballot in King County.

Zahilay sponsored the ordinance because of RCV’s proven track record of creating more opportunities for candidates of color. Yesterday, he put the proposal on hold due to amendments that would have excessively weakened it.

At FairVote Washington, we’ve watched places across the country adopt RCV and we have taken note of best practices. One of these practices is to establish a firm deadline for implementation.

Without a deadline, elected officials don’t ever have to act, leaving voters disappointed and election administrators uncertain.

When it became clear that this RCV ordinance could only pass if it had no implementation deadline, Councilmember Zahilay made the right decision to postpone it. We are grateful for the Councilmember’s inspiring leadership on RCV, and look forward to working alongside him in the future.

RCV is a simple improvement to the way we vote. With RCV, voters can rank candidates on their ballot in the order they prefer: 1st choice, 2nd choice, 3rd choice, and so on. If their favorite can’t win, their vote counts for their next choice.

Across the country, over two dozen jurisdictions use RCV. The method gives voters more say in the outcome and more choices on the ballot, and it incentivizes candidates to reach out to more voters.


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