Choosing How to Choose:
Election Methods Update!
Libby Medley, Program/Events Chair
As the 2016 election ends, our Oregon League is using a statewide study to reflect on the experience from a procedural point of view.
Were you a sincere voter? Or did you vote for someone who was not your first choice in order to fulfill a strategic ploy?
Did you wish for some way to indicate your true opinions of the candidates rather than being limited to selecting one or not voting?
Under our current single-winner system, plurality voting, you get one vote, and the candidate with the most votes wins. While simple to understand, it can be frustrating. And it doesn’t have to be this way.
Voting methods for winner-take-all elections go beyond plurality, to include delayed runoff, approval, range or ranked choice voting for a single seat. Which voting method you prefer will depend on which criteria you think are most important. Looking for change?
In a multi-member position, there are several election method choices. Bloc types are traditional in the U.S.; examples include city council members that are elected at-large. Semi-Proportional methods allow voters multiple votes in the same race. The top vote-receivers win the number of seats that are available.
Proportional representation methods allow voters to simultaneously elect multiple candidates for multiple seats in one race.
Other considerations include the role of political parties in how our elections are conducted, and the impact on voting administration, from hardware and software to training and voter education.
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- Please read the every member material in this Clackson, review the consensus questions and share your thoughts with others at a Unit meeting. Which method best combines fairness and voting clarity for each type of race?
- Visit www.LWVOR.org to read and/or print the full study and other resources. Enjoy the two short videos to gain additional insight.
Unit Meetings: Election Methods Consensus:
Monday, November 14: Fireside Room at Oswego Pointe (5065 Foothills Rd in Lake Oswego). Social at 5:30 pm with discussion starting at 6:00 pm. Bring a brown bag meal and a drink. Betty Barber (503-675-0594)
Wednesday, November 16: 3:00, Sandpiper Room, Provincial House, Mary's Woods (17400 Holy Names Drive, Lake Oswego). Jean Hoffman (503-697-0833).
Thursday, November 17: 9:15 at the home of Sylvia Smith (5133 SW Timbergrove St., Lake Oswego). Sylvia Smith (503-639-4272).
Friday, November 18: 9:30 am, Willamette View, 12705 SE River View Road, Portland. New location in Court Building in the 4th floor parlor. The building is across from the Plaza where meetings are usually held. Call June Routson (503-786-3856) or Nancy Pratt (503-652-6583) for directions.