San Bernardino County Election Reform

San Bernardino County and cities such as San Bernardino elect their officials with a primary and a run-off election. In the age of declining budgets, we should do something that Oakland, San Francisco and the Academy of Motion Picture art and Sciences do and use ranked choice voting for city and county officials.

Ranked choice voting would be the best reform our county could have because we will save valuable taxpayer money in having to hold an extra election because the candidates in a given contest were not able to attain 50%+1, time will be saved in having to host a second election that will have even worse voter turnout than the first, candidates will not have to worry about spending extra money if they are forced to campaign in a runoff election. However the only major opposition will be political consultants where many of them will raise hell about this suggestion because each new election is their pay day, but we should not have to subsidize the careers of political consultants and they should just run their local and county campaigns like it was the general election instead.

The best thing about ranked choice voting is that the candidate who wins ends up becoming elected by majority vote no matter if three, seven or twenty-one candidates are on the ballot for a particular contest.

You can see an interactive explanation of IRV by visiting Chris Gate’s website.

If you own an iphone, ipad or ipod touch you are invited to download an application to help explain ranked choice voting in how it is used in three Alameda County cities.  Or you can visit the San Francisco website to see a visual demonstration and get further information.

 

I did attempt trying to contact the San Bernardino County registrar of voters about the cost of having an office on the ballot, such as if a supervisor or Sheriff failed to get 50 percent plus one, but they were not able to get a conclusive statement about the cost if an extra contest was on the ballot.

It should be easy for San Bernardino County and the city of San Bernardino to adapt to using ranked choice voting. The counties that use ranked choice voting use the same elections technology provider as San Bernardino County.

Since San Bernardino County and its county seat San Bernardino city are both charter governments, the voters are able to pass amendments to the charters to make it possible for reform to happen. But we would need a grass roots movement, a political party or even public employee unions to help to make this happen.

8 thoughts on “San Bernardino County Election Reform”

  1. Here’s a neat video about Ranked Choice Voting and how it worked in San Francisco:

    http://www.tinyurl.com/RCV-California

    “The best thing about ranked choice voting is that the candidate who wins ends up becoming elected by majority vote no matter if three, seven or twenty-one candidates are on the ballot for a particular contest.”

    This is not true at all. In SF, a Supervisor was elected with 4,321 votes out of 18,508 voters who cast ballots in that election. I’m no math whiz, but that’s about 24% support, not a majority. 76% of the voters did not list her on their ballot.

    1. Factual correction: the number of ballots that ranked the eventual winner, Malia Cohen, was 12,072, or 65% of BBusterQ’s denominator. We don’t know what the number would have been if voters had been able to rank more than three candidates. The three candidate limitation is a result of voting machine design. It is not a feature of ranked choice voting itself.

      Also, keep in mind that Cohen beat every other candidate in head-to-head comparisons.

      1. From the SF Department of Elections, Malia Cohen received 4,321 votes. 18,508 people voted in that election.

        You can see the official election data at this site:
        http://sfelections.org/results/20101102/data/d10.html

        Widely reported.

        Bottom line, a statement like “The best thing about ranked choice voting is that the candidate who wins ends up becoming elected by majority vote no matter if three, seven or twenty-one candidates are on the ballot for a particular contest” is just a Fairy Tale.

  2. Here’s a neat video about Ranked Choice Voting and how it worked in San Francisco:

    http://www.tinyurl.com/RCV-California

    “The best thing about ranked choice voting is that the candidate who wins ends up becoming elected by majority vote no matter if three, seven or twenty-one candidates are on the ballot for a particular contest.”

    This is not true at all. In SF, a Supervisor was elected with 4,321 votes out of 18,508 voters who cast ballots in that election. I’m no math whiz, but that’s about 24% support, not a majority. 76% of the voters did not list her on their ballot.

    1. Factual correction: the number of ballots that ranked the eventual winner, Malia Cohen, was 12,072, or 65% of BBusterQ’s denominator. We don’t know what the number would have been if voters had been able to rank more than three candidates. The three candidate limitation is a result of voting machine design. It is not a feature of ranked choice voting itself.

      Also, keep in mind that Cohen beat every other candidate in head-to-head comparisons.

      1. From the SF Department of Elections, Malia Cohen received 4,321 votes. 18,508 people voted in that election.

        You can see the official election data at this site:
        http://sfelections.org/results/20101102/data/d10.html

        Widely reported.

        Bottom line, a statement like “The best thing about ranked choice voting is that the candidate who wins ends up becoming elected by majority vote no matter if three, seven or twenty-one candidates are on the ballot for a particular contest” is just a Fairy Tale.

  3. Here’s an article on Malia Cohen – “the Accidental Supervisor” elected by RCV with ~ 24% support.

    quote:
    “That’s if Cohen is considered a true representative of the district. Frankly, this election, with the ranked- choice confusion, raises questions. After no candidate could be declared a winner when first-place votes were counted, it took 19 runs of redistributing second and third choices to declare Cohen the winner. But she had just 4,173 of the 19,669 votes cast, or 21 percent. In other words, 79 percent of the ballots in the district did not even include her name.”

    http://articles.sfgate.com/2010-11-27/bay-area/24949562_1_key-vote-ranked-choice-bloc

  4. Here’s an article on Malia Cohen – “the Accidental Supervisor” elected by RCV with ~ 24% support.

    quote:
    “That’s if Cohen is considered a true representative of the district. Frankly, this election, with the ranked- choice confusion, raises questions. After no candidate could be declared a winner when first-place votes were counted, it took 19 runs of redistributing second and third choices to declare Cohen the winner. But she had just 4,173 of the 19,669 votes cast, or 21 percent. In other words, 79 percent of the ballots in the district did not even include her name.”

    http://articles.sfgate.com/2010-11-27/bay-area/24949562_1_key-vote-ranked-choice-bloc

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