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About RCV Oregon

Real Choice Voting for Oregon (formerly Ranked Choice Voting for Oregon) is a grassroots effort to bring real choice to voters by reforming Oregon election systems. The archaic election method used in most U.S. elections has given us two-party gridlock, a government more responsive to the wealthy and corporate donors than to the people, and electoral barriers to voices of dissent. We advocate bringing proportional representation and/or "preference voting" such as ranked choice voting to Oregon elections in fulfillment of the Oregon Constitution:

Oregon Constitution Article II, Section 16: "provision may be made by law for elections by equal proportional representation [or] ... for the voter’s direct or indirect expression of his first, second or additional choices among the candidates for any office."
Ranked Choice Voting is an alternative democratic method of electing candidates to office. Instead of choosing just one candidate to vote for, you can rank the candidates in your order of preference. For example, candidate Q is my first choice, candidate Z is my second choice, and candidate K is my third choice.

Ranked choice voting has multiple benefits:
  • Allows voters greater freedom to vote for their true first choice
  • Reduces the possibility of a "spoiler" election
  • Is fairer to alternative parties and independent candidates
  • Often results in more positive election campaigns
Ranked choice voting can be used for single-seat elections in a version called Instant Runoff Voting, and can also be used for electing candidates for a multi-seat district using a form of proportional representation called the Single Transferable Vote. Candidates must meet a quota of top choice votes to win election (in IRV it is a majority, in STV it depends on the number of seats to be filled), and next choice votes come in to play when necessary to fill the seat or seats.

Ranked choice voting is used in a number of cities and counties across the U.S., as well as in Australia and some other nations. An initiative to use Ranked Choice Voting in county elections in Benton County, Oregon, passed in 2016, as well as an initiative to bring Ranked Choice Voting to federal and state elections in Maine.

Mixed-Member Election Systems are another method which gives voters more choice, is more fair to alternative parties, and brings different voices into the political process. Members to the legislature are elected in a single election which mixes elements of single-seat plurality districts (as we have now) and proportional representation of voters' support of the variety of political parties. Mixed-Member Election Systems have been used in Germany since the end of World War II, and since the 1990s have spread to several other nations, including New Zealand, Japan, Italy and Bolivia.

Score Runoff Voting, recently renamed Star Voting (for "Score + Automatic Runoff) is a new election method which is gaining interest across Oregon and is being examined by RCV Oregon. STAR Voting allows voters to give a score to each candidate on a scale of 0-5, from "no support" to "most support." The two candidates with the highest cumulative scores then go to an "instant runoff" in which the candidate ranked higher by more voters wins. It combines scoring and ranking forms of vote counting and proponents claim that it improves upon Instant Runoff Voting. See the Equal Vote Coalition website for more information.

RCV Oregon will provide news and analysis on efforts to bring forms of proportional representation and preference voting to Oregon elections. We invite you to join our conversation by signing up and by visiting our social media sites. See our Facebook pages: Real Choice Voting for Oregon and Real Choice Voting for Oregon - Discussion. More in-depth discussions can be found on our Loomio page.

Please consider a donation to help fund our website and ongoing efforts to bring preference voting to Oregon.

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  • posted about this on Facebook 2016-11-19 14:24:59 -0800
    I just joined RCV Oregon to promote ranked choice voting!