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.