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This resolution places proposed charter amendment language on the ballot. The ballot language establishes voluntary limits on campaign spending and equal public financing of campaigns for elections, allows participating candidates for Mayor and Council to voluntarily limit their campaign spending and receive an equal amount of public financing from the General Fund for each office and to agree not to accept or spend private campaign contributions, requires the City Attorney and City Clerk to administer the system with strict accountability to assure that all funds are used in the manner for which they are intended.
Highlights from two recent studies suggest that ranked choice voting (RCV) has been embraced by voters and candidates alike, who see it as a means of reducing divisive politics and fostering more positive, inclusive, and informative campaigns. One key finding: Candidates who participated in RCV elections were significantly less likely to claim that they had been portrayed or described negatively by their opponents, or to admit that they had portrayed an opponent negatively.
This ordinance requires landlords to provide new tenants with voter registration forms at the time the tenant begins their residency. This obliges landlords to make new residents to the area as well as new tenants who have previously not registered to vote aware of voter registration practices in the municipality.
This report explores the potential impact of implementing the Fair Representation Act (HR 3057). The Fair Representation Act would require states to elect their House representatives with ranked choice voting in multi-winner districts drawn by independent commissions, thus establishing a form of proportional representation and eliminating the challenges posed by winner-take-all elections. In a study simulating the criteria established in HR 3057, this report found that upon implementation, a major party’s vote share and its seat share in Congress would be more closely linked than it currently is, Congress would be more likely to function as intended by the architects of the Constitution, and diversity would be better represented.
Data shows that most Americans who are registered to vote cast a ballot on Election Day. Cities and counties can address the problem of declining voter engagement, exacerbated by barriers to voter registration, through increasing registration in their jurisdictions with city and county agency-based voter registration. With this reform, designated local agencies offer eligible residents the opportunity to register to vote when applying for other services—for example, through agencies that provide human and social services, affordable housing, and health programs, among others. This report outlines resources for reform, and provides a model ordinance and key talking points for local agency voter registration.
This policy brief discusses the problem of lower voter turnout in municipal and county elections. The brief discusses possible causes for this issue such as low voter engagement, a lack of community grounding, and the absence of viable political options. The brief proposes solutions to this problem including the enfranchisement of new voters and the public finance of local elections.
This model act allows a city or county to conduct a local election using ranked choice voting in which voters rank the candidates for office in order of preference. Ranked choice voting elections may be used for single-winner elections, such as Mayor, or for elections that elect multiple candidates to office, such as city council. This model act authorizes ranked choice voting methods to be adopted by ballot measure, initiative ordinance, or charter amendment.
The party primary system, rather than enhancing democracy, often results in a low-turnout race in which some voters are excluded by law, and the winner frequently does not have majority support of all voters in the district. In conjunction with ballot access rules that discriminate against new parties, the primary system prevents the development of effective political parties that could serve as a counterweight to the power of incumbency. This report outlines the faults of the party primary system and proposes alternatives, such as two-round systems, ranked choice voting.
A primary runoff election is held if no candidate surpasses the necessary threshold for victory in the initial primary election. Voter awareness of the system and a dip in enthusiasm following the initial primary has resulted in a trend of voter turnout dropping in the runoff election. Low turnout in the runoff defeats the purpose of holding a runoff election: to increase the likelihood that the winning candidate accurately represents the party and the party’s voters. To combat this problem, this report suggests implementing a “instant runoff” election, also known as ranked choice voting, which gives voters the chance to express their true preferences, costs significantly less money for jurisdictions and candidates, and shrinks the multiple round election to a single, more accessible election.
Safe districts are the electoral districts which are regarded as “secure” for a certain political party or candidate to win. In a winner-take-all system, the votes of people who have a mix of political viewpoints or prefer a different political party are insufficient to elect anyone. Thus, single-winner districts can never adequately represent the diversity of thought and experience living in all geographic regions of the United States, because it is impossible for one representative to adequately represent multiple viewpoints. This report proposes an alternative to single-winner districts. Under a proportional system, like the Fair Representation Act, larger regions of states would send three, four, or five members to the House of Representatives. With ranked choice voting, each of those members would be elected by a distinct group of voters, such that nearly every vote would be effective in helping elect winners.