2nd Ranked Choice Voting Portland Meeting Held

On Saturday January 28 supporters of ranked choice voting in Portland, Oregon, met for the second time. Those present heard presentations and committee reports and decided on a social media platform for communications to build consensus around plans for next steps. About 43 people were present, an increase over the first meeting held in December.


Alan Zundel of Ranked Choice Voting Oregon introduced Blair Bobier, a co-petitioner for the Benton County RCV initiative which passed in November. Blair asked on behalf of himself and Rep. Dan Rayfield, the other co-petitioner, that any high-visibility RCV initiatives, particularly a statewide one, be postponed at least until the end of the legislative session in July. Rep. Rayfield is working to secure funding to implement the Benton County initiative. Blair asked those present to consider helping in an education campaign in Benton County to insure successful implementation, which would be the best way to move forward. Alan recommended heeding Blair's advice while continuing to build a statewide RCV network.

Alan also reported on the Facebook discussions. One discussion was around what kind of statewide initiative would be best if one were to be launched. That discussion was converging on some options but had not arrived at consensus. A second Facebook discussion over Mark Frohnmayer's proposal for Score Runoff Voting, a hybrid of score (aka range) and ranked voting, then drew attention. Mark was present at the meeting and gave a brief presentation on his proposal and answered questions.

The research committee reported information on Portland, Metro, and Multnomah County as targets for RCV. All have non-partisan top-two elections to their offices. A majority of the time incumbents win. Portland includes a small group of voters from two counties abutting Multnomah, so cross-county vote tabulation may be an issue. Multnomah and Washington counties use the Clear Ballot voting tabulation equipment, which the vendor says could run an RCV election. Clackamas uses Hart Verity.

The communications committee reported that FaceBook is an inferior method of holding discussions, and recommended moving to Loomio. This was agreed to by consensus.

Aaron Wolf asked to lead a poll of those present on the values they seek to realize with voting reform. A number of concepts were offered, all of which had wide support in the group. Some examples: "end the two party system" and "freedom to vote for your true choice."

At the end there was a brief discussion of organizational structure, in which it was agreed to continue committee work while holding discussions on Loomio.

The two-hour meeting was held at the central public library in downtown Portland.

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