As idealists gaze into the clouds, yearning for a day when the electoral college ceases to exist, some Californiansâ€”including ones here in Santa Cruzâ€”are dreaming up a different kind of election reform.
A local group called Yes on Ranked Choice is not just imagining a different kind of election, but also working to create it from the ground up. Ranked choice is a system that allows voters to bubble-in selections for their first, second and third choices on their ballots. The local group is holding a meeting on March 19 at the Garfield Park Community Church to discuss creating such a balloting system in the city of Santa Cruz. Â
One advantage to this instant-runoff system, supporters suggest, is that voters may be more likely to pick their favorite candidate, instead of reluctantly supporting a politician whoâ€™s more likely to win. Of course, in Santa Cruzâ€”at least for the City Councilâ€”voters already get to vote for three or four people each cycle.
Ranked choice is already in place in the Bay Area cities of San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley, and San Leandro.
The idea seems intuitive enoughâ€”itâ€™s how sports writers vote for most valuable playersâ€”but it still has high-profile opposition. Gov. Jerry Brown has criticized it for making voting more complicated. He vetoed a bill to extend ranked-choice voting to the stateâ€™s general law cities, if they chose to implement it, this past fall.
Because Santa Cruz is a charter city, itâ€™s still eligible.
The ranked-choice meeting will be from 2-3:30 p.m. on Sunday, March 19 at the Garfield Park Community Church at 111 Errett Circle.