Seattle hops on the ranked-choice voting bandwagon

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Seattle voters have narrowly approved moving their elections to ranked-choice voting, the system that Alaska voters approved in 2020 and used for the first time this year.

About 51% of Seattle voters in the Nov. 8 election agreed to change the city’s primary voting system from the usual top-two to the new election fad of ranking candidates from most liked to least. about 49% of voters opposed the change.

The ballot measure was a two-part question. The first question asked voters if they wanted to remake the city’s procedures for conducting primary elections.

Then, voters were asked a second question: Which would they prefer — ranked choice voting or “approval voting,” in which voters could choose any number of candidates in city primaries, but assigns no ranking to them.

People who answered the second question overwhelmingly preferred ranked choice voting, by 76-24%.

The Seattle City Council is dominated by socialists and far-left Democrats. It’s possible that ranked-choice voting will work against them. But the measure was close, passing by only 6,000 votes. Some 911,000 King County voters cast ballots.

Fargo, North Dakota passed an initiative in 2018 allowing it to use approval voting in its local elections, becoming the first community in the nation to move to that method.

In Alaska, a citizen application has been filed with the office of the lieutenant governor to begin collecting signatures on a petition to reverse the initiative passed in 2020 by just 4,000 votes. Critics say the system is set up to give liberal candidates an advantage in a conservative state and, indeed, ranked choice voting led to Alaska’s only congressional seat being occupied by a Democrat, even though only 12.5% of Alaska voters are registered Democrats.

32 COMMENTS

  1. Sort of reminds me of the joke, “Why isn’t there an environmental movement in China? Because they already have a communist government.”

    Why does Seattle need ranked choice voting? The objective was achieved there a long time ago.

    • They have the same fears that China does, the fear of losing power and control. They just want to guarantee that life remains the same there. While we’re on the subject of China, I like to say a big fat you are welcome to China, Korea, Vietnam and all the other countries that we saved beginning on this Pearl harbor Day. In a roundabout way, had Pearl harbor never happened we’d all be speaking Japanese right now. Thank you Japan for being stupid.

  2. The Seattle political spectrum ranges from Democrats to Communists. Ranked choice voting promotes the center, and “centrist” in Seattle means Socialism. So Seattle: say goodbye to Democrats with a modicum of sanity and say hello to an all-Socialist government.

  3. Seattle is already a pile of c—. Why not? It can be an experiment to see just how much worse Seattle can get.

    • Anchorage is slowly dying as the oil money continues to dry up. Young people are fleeing. Homelessness abounds. Decaying downtown. Schools are closing. Ranked dead last in nationwide business competitiveness. Seattle, on the other hand, is booming. Loads of tech jobs, strong real estate market, diversified economy, major public works projects, vibrant arts and cultural scene, and yes, a homeless problem just like Anchorage. What city doesn’t have that nowadays?

      You view Seattle as a Hellscape simply because it’s more politically liberal than you like – and not because of any factual analysis. Similarly, I suppose you also like Trump – in spite of his moral and ethical flaws – simply because you agree with his political views. I’d suggest, going forward, that you base your judgements on actual evidence, instead of simply applying tired, old stereotypes. You’ll find that your conclusions change if you do so.

      • I’m supposed to take advice from a man/dog whatever who bases his commentary on unrelated matters (Anchorage) and his suppositions of my experiences and beliefs?

        How ever ignorantly, arrogantly liberal of you. I’m surprised you left out the “educate yourself” trope.

        My opinions of Seattle are drawn from repeated, regular trips there. Here in SE we go there for everything from healthcare to shopping.

        I admit it’s liberal approach to things like law enforcement, property rights, open drug use are a heavily driving factor to their descent into hell. But my opinion is based on on the ground observation.

        The rest of your drivel is not worth commenting on.

      • Whidbey; You make some good points, just hope us peasants that are left in Alaska don’t have to pay through the roof taxes to support bloated government 😉

  4. People like RCV because it reduces the chance of having only extreme Right or Left-wing candidates to choose from. The method will continue to spread as a result. At the moment the Alaska GOP is lashing out because they got stung in the last election. But some day soon the tables will turn, and they’ll call RCV the best voting system of all times.

    Learn how to run good, center-Right candidates instead of the far-Right MAGA types and you’ll finally start to win again, no matter which voting system is used. It’s the candidates, folks.

    • You are exactly, 100% wrong on RCV. It works very well for progressives, as they have the ability to vote in lockstep as per their orders. If the dems ran a hard boiled egg as a candidate, it would win it’s primary every time because it has a (D) in front of it’s name. Conservatives will always be contentious with each other as we NEVER blindly take direction. We will always argue and debate and that’s what primary elections are for. The primary settles the argument about who will be our candidate for the general election.
      The deviousness in RCV is that it uses the lemming like mentality of the progressives and the stubbornness of the conservatives to both concentrate ‘support’ for liberal candidates and fracture any unified support for a single conservative candidate.
      There are no conservative areas that have tried and retained RCV. The ONLY places that use it turned blue years ago and have every intention of staying that way (think south/central California).

      As for your advice on our candidates, yeah, right. After seeing the candidates the progressives run, you’re the last people to tell us who to pick.

    • I don’t get why people are so opposed to majority rule, which is what RCV delivers, or why they think it favors any particular ideology. It’s almost as if they don’t believe in democracy and only want to make sure their preferred extreme candidate with only minority support gets control. Or maybe they just can’t figure out how to list their backup candidates in priority order?

    • I agree. Which is strange, because I’m not a communist and I don’t take orders from George Soros.

    • So you are ambivalent about our liberties. Switzerland should tell Americans what to do instead of God-given liberties. I feel you.

  5. Seattle doesn’t need Ranked Choice Voting. To begin with, Lisa can only represent Alaska. Second, with all the lunatics who call Seattle home, the deck will for decades be stacked in favor of Dems and Socialists. Apologies for the redundancy. I stopped my mini-vacations to Seattle five or six years ago. The place has become so crazy that the airport is as far as I go.

  6. Please stop blaming RCV for an outcome we don’t like. Just look at how people voted: Of the 62,000ish people who voted for Begich, 7,400 put Peltola as their second choice while almost 14,000 refused to rank anyone second. In a partisan primary Palin would have won which means the election would have been Palin vs. Peltola. Do you think those 21,000 disenheartened Begich voters would have voted for Palin, or would they done exactly what their second-choice votes suggested (vote for Peltola, or stay home)?

    • It is possible for both candidates and system to be bad at the same time. We had a perfect storm of ineptitude.

      But I’ll meet you here: the right spent way too much time whining about RVC and nowhere near enough learning how to use it.

    • When Lisa’s staffers are captured on film discussing how they are working with the RCV ballot effort and how it will ensure she remains in office and in power, RCV IS the issue! RCV is gaming the system. The entire voting process was much simpler with closed primaries and the top vote-getter being the winner.

      No wonder more and more people are questioning the integrity of our voting system.

      • The previous system was not simple, was not necessarily simpler than top-four RCV, and too frequently failed to elect the most preferred candidate. That latter problem is the primary motivation for implementing a new system that abolishes party primaries.

        The most preferred candidate is the one who is supposed to be elected, and in this last Alaska US Senate race, that candidate was almost certainly Murkowski. Under the primary and general election system with plurality voting, the lesser-preferred Tshibaka would likely have been (wrongly) elected. Thus, the use of RCV prevented an election failure.

        Re: “more people are questioning the integrity of our voting system.”

        To blame RCV for lack of integrity is to bark up the wrong tree. The party primary is the most acute symptom of our broken voting system. It does more damage to the integrity of our elections than any other symptom. Ultimately, forcing voters to pick only one candidate on a ballot, plurality voting, is the disease. That’s why voting method reform (e.g., implementation of RCV or approval voting) is crucially important.

      • Closed primaries are why our system is failing. He who can get the most money gets put forth as a candidate instead of he who can lead and represent the most people.

        Shouldn’t matter what you are registered as, should be able to vote for all potential candidates to encourage best representation options make it to the final round.

    • The question as to how they have voted is meaningless as it is a hypothetical that isn’t the case, and we can’t know for sure what would have happened if rigged choice voting wasn’t implemented. I do know that without rigged choice voting and open primaries we would have had a single republican candidate (Palin), and she would have won, as more than 50% of the total votes went to a republican candidate. Therefore we can infer that Peltola only won because of rigged choice voting.

      • Re: “…and [Palin] would have won, as more than 50% of the total votes went to a republican candidate. ”

        The sixty percent support for Republicans in the first-place vote is misleading, and should not be interpreted that Palin would have won in a head-to-head contest with Peltola. More than half of voters are neither D or R, and many center-right leaning independents could be expected to choose Peltola over the very right Palin.

        A head-to-head contest between Palin and Peltola actually DID occur: in the final round of voting in two elections, Palin and Peltola faced off, and Palin lost both times.

        Re: “Therefore we can infer that Peltola only won because of rigged choice voting.:

        That is partly true for the special election. Begich was the most preferred candidate among the three in the RCV runoff, but this particular RCV election suffered a rare spoiler scenario.

  7. When will they change the algorithm? Has no one else noticed the “narrow” wins for all this crap? At least the people in Brazil are doing something about it. In America, we pretend that we’re just purple.

  8. Why go to RCV when election cheating is freely available in this Communist stronghold? Case in point……..The governor’s race between Democrat Gregoire and Republican Rossi in 2004. Rossi won twice even with two recounts. But suddenly, 100 paper ballots appeared behind a piano. All for Democrat Gregoire. She won on the third recount. No RCV needed. Welcome to Western Washington state.

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