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Letter: Calling All Supporters of Ranked Choice Voting

Alameda Post - two women from the League of Women Voters of Alameda walk in a parade carrying a sign. The sign says "Making Democracy Work, Ranked Choice Voting, League of Women Voters of Alameda"
League of Women Voters of Alameda marching in the 2022 Alameda 4th of July Parade. Photo Richard Bangert.
To the Editor:

It’s decision time.  Are residents of Alameda willing to volunteer to collect signatures to put ranked choice voting (RCV) on the November 2024 ballot?  The citizens’ initiative will require collecting about 10,000 signatures during a six-month period, starting in August.

Voter Choice Alameda has been launched and necessary documents prepared. The number of volunteers to gather signatures will determine if the campaign will move forward for a 2024 ballot initiative.

If you are ready to volunteer later this summer to collect signatures at public venues such as grocery stores, transit hubs, and events, please sign up at voterchoicealameda.com/getinvolved. The campaign is looking for activist volunteers, both new and experienced. Training will be provided. If we do not hear from enough volunteers by June 15, the ballot measure effort will be placed on hold until another election cycle.



But why wait?  Making democracy work better should always be a priority.

Why should Alameda institute RCV?

The League of Women Voters is an advocate for instituting RCV and has received a warm reception by many individuals and organizations. People find the voting method easy to understand once they learn how it works.

RCV invites voters to express an opinion on multiple candidates by ranking the candidates in order of preference. On Election Day, if no candidate receives a clear majority of first-choice votes, voters’ other choices are tallied.

Alameda Post - a ballot box and a hand dropping a ballot into itUnder our current system, the candidate who gets the most votes is elected. But the most votes could be only a small fraction of the votes cast, which leaves the will of the voters unclear.

Election outcomes under RCV more accurately reflect a consensus among voters to represent most peoples’ interests, not just a small base of supporters.  A broadly accountable candidate is a more responsive officeholder. Plus, campaigns are more issue-oriented because every candidate is seeking voters’ backup choices.

RCV also encourages greater diversity of candidates. Under the current winner-take-all system, many would-be candidates never enter the race because the odds are daunting, and they don’t want to be accused of undermining a similar candidate’s campaign. Thus, certain voices are not part of the conversation about our future.  Voters can change this.

If you support strengthening our democratic process in Alameda, please join the effort now.

Anne McKereghan, President
League of Women Voters of Alameda


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