It is absolutely mind-boggling to read comments here calling bikes a problem. Sure, some bicyclists are bad apples. But bicyclists following the rules of the road are a boon to society. It helps with clean air in our city, reduces our country's dependency on oil, frees up space from parking, is quieter for the neighborhood, keeps speeds down and roads safer, and is more social with the surroundings. Anyone calling this a problem has their priorities seriously messed up.
It would be great to have a city like New York City using ranked choice voting. The more cities that use it, the more the rest of those cities will benefit, including us.
Awareness among voters will grow even more, and voting equipment vendors and election administrators will get even better at running them. More experience as a country collectively with ranked choice voting means better elections.
This editorial is ridiculous.Ranked choice voting "reduces voter choices"? What rational person would think that letting voters express more of their choices "reduces" their choices?What the Examiner really wants are December runoffs because they reduce turnout and lead to elections that friends of theirs like the Chamber of Commerce can more easily manipulate and control.And if ranked choice voting is so harmful to Chinese-American voters, then why has Asian-American representation on the Board of Supervisors quadrupled from one to four supervisors (out of 11) under ranked choice voting? And how did we elect our first Chinese-American mayor under ranked choice voting last November?And no, like December runoffs, a majority of voters don't turn out for June elections. The turnout in June averages around 40%, which averages around 40% less than the turnout in November. That's probably exactly why Farrell and Elsbernd want the vote on their amendment to take place in June -- along with the fact that the proportion of Republicans will be a lot higher.
@Kiva: "RCV was responsible for the lowest turnout in decades for a Mayoral Election ~30%"Kiva, hard evidence, are you serious? The turnout this year was 42.5% which is way higher than the ~30% you mention. Check the elections web site. It's also much higher than the 36% turnout we had for a mayoral election just four years ago in 2007, so there was nothing record low about this year's race.It was also just three percent less than the mayoral turnout in the dynamic November 2003 race. In contrast, this year's race featured an incumbent mayor with high voter approval, so it wasn't very competitive. We shouldn't expect such a race to have high turnout under any system.Moreover, if voter turnout is down, it's down across the country and not because of ranked choice voting. Among the most recent mayoral elections in the twenty-two largest cities in the United States, San Francisco's election actually had the highest voter turnout.
Ranked choice voting majorities have proven themselves to be much more representative than the December runoff majorities they replaced.For example, when Supervisor Elsbernd first won in 2004, he earned nearly 50% more votes under ranked choice voting than his District 7 predecessor got in a low turnout December runoff. His predecessor won a "majority" in December with 30% fewer votes than the November leader and 31% of the total November vote.Such shrinking majorities can never happen in ranked choice voting. San Francisco's Board of Supervisors has become more representative and diverse under ranked choice voting because it decides elections in November when turnout is highest. We should continue to use it.
@Daniel Madrid: Hi Daniel, I live next to Bernal Hill, and like you I also care about democracy. I have been a polling place inspector in San Francisco for the past ten elections.I agree with you that the Citizens United decision and outside groups have had a negative impact. But going back to runoffs would only increase their impact. Adding another election would increase the amount of money they spend and increase the number of mailers you receive even more (and the length of time during which you receive them). On top of that, an Ethics Commission report in 2003 found that independent expenditures increased by a factor of four during December runoffs.If there are more mailers these days, it's not because of ranked choice voting. If you look at the elections going back to 2000 when district elections started back up again, you'll find that the number of candidates actually went down with ranked choice voting. In the fourteen races with runoffs between 2000-2003, the average number of candidates was 8. In the eighteen ranked choice voting races since 2004 that went to a runoff, the average was 6. Also, to cite an example to show that this year wasn't unique, the 1999 mayor's race (before ranked choice voting) had fifteen candidates compared to this year's sixteen.In terms of majorities and democracy, if you look again at those fourteen runoff races between 2000-2003, you'll find that in over half of them (eight out of fourteen), the majority December runoff winner actually got fewer votes than the highest vote-getter in November. So the winner was actually supported less in December and getting voted into office by fewer voters than if a winner had been decided in November. This is because the turnout in December was on average so much lower (because of negative attack ad mailers, etc). In terms of democracy and representation, that seems worse to me.
This piece is a complete distortion. Far fewer voters were participating on average when we had December runoffs, which is what ranked choice voting replaced. December runoffs are what discouraged people.Did you know that when we had December runoffs, the runoff winner frequently got fewer votes than the winner in November? In what world is that a better form of majority rule? I'm not surprised that the leader of a Building Owners Association would feel that way. Low turnout December runoffs benefit moneyed interests like BOMA.
All Comments »
The San Francisco Examiner
Website powered by Foundation