Wednesday, May 22, 2013

City Council & Campaign Reform - 2

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Another step forward in City electoral reform would be "preferential voting". and

This is also called "instant run-off" and is used in a number of countries (including Australia) and several cities in the US, including San Francisco and Oakland.  For example, in a 3-way contest between candidates A,B, & C, each voter has the opportunity to vote for one candidate AND indicate a second preference.  If, for example, candidate C gets the lowest number of votes, those who voted for C and indicated a 2nd preference would have their votes counted toward that candidate.  This enables two candidates with similar views to to run against a single candidate of opposing views without worrying about splitting the vote.  It saves the expense of run-off elections which can further drain the funds of the candidates and make them even more dependent on big contributors, or tilt towards those with the most money.

I am told that both CM Whittum and CM Moylan have tried to get the county to provide the software so Santa Clara County cities can implement this.  I think more pressure needs to be applied, and if Sunnyvale voted to go to this method, it would pretty much force the county voting registrar to get the software that Oakland and San Francisco use.

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