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More Choice, More Voice

Mar 8, 2024

Ranked Choice Voting addresses the problem of low turnout primaries

Map of California cities using RCV

Happy post-election week! But is it happy? Santa Clara County voter turnout was abysmal! It’s looking to be the lowest in more than 10 years, hovering around 17% so far. As ballots are being counted the registrar hopes to get up to 30%. That means 70% of people didn’t vote!

RCV fixes the low turnout problem by eliminating the primary and moving voting to one general election where voters can rank the candidates in order of their preference (1st, 2nd, 3rd , etc ).

The result? MUCH higher and more representative turnout. California voter turnout is almost 30 percentage points higher in general elections, with a larger increase among Black, Latino, and Asian voters. Our neighboring cities of SF and Oakland have implemented RCV to replace two-round elections; the number of voters participating has increased dramatically -- for example, 50% more voters (41,000 people) cast a ballot in the 2022 Oakland mayoral race than in its last mayoral contest without RCV!

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