RCV Portland Raising Funds for Survey

Ranked Choice Voting Portland has begun a fund raising campaign to pay for a survey in the Portland Metro area. The aim is to measure public awareness of and support for ranked choice voting and/or proportional representation for elections in one or more of Portland's offices. They are considering the offices of Portland City Commissioners, the Mayor, the Multnomah County Chair, and the Multnomah County Auditor. The fund raising goal is $5000. Reaching the goal will signal to potential backers that the campaign is viable and worthy of support. Your contribution can help! To donate go to this ActBlue donation site. The results of the survey will determine the best path forward for bringing ranked choice voting to Portland, Oregon's largest city. RCV Portland's next volunteer meeting will be held on Sunday, May 7, from 3:30 to 5 pm at the Hollywood branch library in Portland. Volunteers are needed to distribute informational fliers, conduct further research, and help with fundraising. If you live in the Portland area and are interested in election reform, your participation is needed! For more information go to the RCV PDX FaceBook page.

Portland Ranked Choice Voting Group Splits

    Two days before the third general assembly of Ranked Choice Voting for Portland, some of the members of the organizing committee announced that they were leaving the larger group to focus exclusively on Instant Runoff Voting (IRV) as the most viable voting method reform. In response, other members have formed a new committee that will likely support Score Runoff Voting (SRV) as a voting method reform. The Portland group had originally formed in expectation of backing a statewide initiative to use IRV in state elections. It affiliated with our RCV Oregon network as we were discussing the possible shape of such an initiative in our FaceBook group. Shortly after this some proponents of SRV joined the discussion. When the co-petitioners of the Benton County RCV campaign asked us to delay any statewide plans as they sought state funding to implement RCV in their county, RCV Oregon agreed and counseled the Portland group to do so as well. The Portland group’s focus then shifted to a possible local RCV initiative just as the IRV vs. SRV discussion was heating up. Continue reading

Voting Reform in Maine and Canada Stalls

Voting reform efforts involving ranked choice voting (RCV) have stalled in Maine and Canada. In November of last year Maine voters passed an historic initiative to use RCV in elections for federal and state offices. Recently the President of the Maine Senate persuaded the body to request the state Supreme Court for an opinion on the new law’s constitutionality. The Senate complied with a 24-10 vote. The court has not yet responded, leaving the measure in limbo. At issue are two provisions in the state constitution. One would have elections won by a plurality rather than a majority as RCV requires. The other provides for votes to be counted by cities and towns, whereas implementing the RCV initiative is expected to use centralized counting by the Secretary of State. Continue reading

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.   Continue reading

Portland Meeting Time & Place Changed

    The time and place of the meeting for Ranked Choice Voting Portland has been changed. It is still planned for Saturday January 28. The time has been moved from 3-4 pm to 3:30-5:30 pm to allow more time for discussion. The place has been changed from the Hollywood branch of the public library in Portland to the Central Library downtown, 801 SW 10th, to accommodate more people. On the agenda are reports from committees looking into the possibility of a local initiative for ranked choice voting, and continuing discussions about statewide organizing and whether or when to pursue a statewide ballot initiative.

Jan. 28 Meeting in Portland

Ranked Choice Voting PDX will be hosting a second meeting on Saturday, Jan. 28, from 3 to 4 pm at the Hollywood Branch of the Multnomah County Public Library. RCV supporters from other areas of the state are invited as well.The proposed agenda includes: Creating a structure for the organization (e.g., formal roles, deliberation and decision methods) Report on the Facebook discussion (statewide and local initiatives, instant runoff and score runoff) Lessons from the success in Maine Reports from research teams (vote tabulation equipment, offices to target) This author (Alan Zundel) will be there and will report here afterward for those who could not make it.

Ranked Choice Voting Group Organizing in Portland

More than 25 Ranked Choice Voting enthusiasts met in Portland on Saturday, December 3rd. Energy was high in the room due to the recent RCV wins in Benton County, Oregon, and in Maine. The group decided to organize for a possible local RCV initiative and to explore ties with a statewide network, RCV Oregon. Alan Zundel and Mike Alfoni were there to share their insights and answer questions. Alan was actively involved in the early planning for the Benton County campaign and heavily involved in the signature gathering phase. Mike came on board as campaign manager at about that point to guide the campaign to success. Continue reading

Ranked Choice Voting PASSES in Benton County!

BENTON COUNTY MEASURE 2-100 RANKED CHOICE VOTINGNEWS RELEASEFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 8, 2016CONTACT: Blair Bobier 503.559.6176Dan Rayfield 541.745.8874 RANKED CHOICE VOTING CAMPAIGN MAKES HISTORY Benton County the First in Oregon to Adopt RCVBenton County voters approved Measure 2-100 today, a pioneering Ranked Choice Voting initiative, making the County the first in Oregon to adopt the innovative voting method. The Measure won by 54%-46%. On the other side of the country, Maine looked likely to be the first state to approve Ranked Choice Voting for statewide elections.“We made history today,” said Blair Bobier, a Benton County Planning Commissioner and one of two Chief Petitioners for the initiative. “This is one small step for Benton County and one giant leap for Oregon democracy.”The passage of Measure 2-100 means that Benton County will use Ranked Choice Voting for electing local officials as soon as funding is procured for educating voters about the change in voting methods. The Measure specifies that county taxpayers will not be on the hook for this expenditure—the funding will come from either the State of Oregon or sources such as non-profit organizations.State Rep. Dan Rayfield, the measure’s other Chief Petitioner, said “Oregon is a nationally recognized leader of voting innovations like vote-by-mail and automatic voter registration. Ranked Choice Voting continues this pioneering tradition. Benton County’s Ranked Choice Voting deserves the support of all Oregonians as a blueprint for the future of Oregon’s democracy.”-30- www.betterballotbenton.com

Proposal to bring RCV to Oregon

Today (November 14, 2016) we are going public with a proposal for the next step in bringing RCV to Oregon. We are currently laying the groundwork for a statewide initiative to use ranked choice voting for the Presidential election in Oregon. The Oregon electors for the electoral college would be awarded to the winner of ranked choice voting for the Presidential candidates. More details to follow!