In a special meeting of the Seattle City Council on July 14, the Council voted to place a Ranked Choice voting system on the November general election ballot. The Council decided to take this action after another voting reform measure, Approval Voting (Initiative 134) qualified for the general election.
The editorial board of The Seattle Times blasted the Council for putting a competing voting reform measure before the voters after the I-134 campaign collected over 26,000 signatures to qualify for the ballot.
At this point, you might be asking, “What are Approval Voting and Ranked Choice Voting?” Both systems allow voters to choose more than one candidate for an elective office. With ranked choice voting, voters prioritize their votes, picking their first, second, and third (and maybe more) choices. The second and third choice votes are added to a candidate’s vote total.
With approval voting, the voter can pick multiple candidates, but there is no prioritization of those votes. So, the voter simply casts equally weighted votes for multiple candidates.