Through grass roots energy we won a great victory by convincing the King County Charter Review Commission to consider a system which offers voters more voices and choices.
Now we need to follow up on our victory by making sure that the recommendations we worked so hard to secure are carried out by the King County Council.
Because of the testimony of so many of you, we were able to get the King County Charter Review Commission ( an influential advisory body which convenes every decade to recommend changes to the County Charter ) to include language in its May 2008 recommendations to the King County Council requesting that a citizens commission be formed during 2010 to study Instant Runoff Voting/Ranked Choice Voting (IRV or RCV). The Charter Review Commission further recommended that after its year of study, the citizen commission should make a recommendation to the King County Council whether to put IRV on the ballot or not in 2011.
If we can get this recommendation acted upon we have a great chance to get IRV/RCV considered by KingCounty’s voters.
However, this positive recommendation is likely to fall by the wayside unless we make our voices heard to our KingCountyrepresentatives.
Please take the following actions to help ensure that the KingCountycouncil adopts the favorable recommendations regarding IRV/RCV of the Charter Review Commission.
I. Call and/or write your KingCountyCouncil representative this week. Ask them to co-sponsor a resolution urging the adoption of the King County Charter Review Commission with respect to IRV which calls for the formation of a citizen’s commission to study IRV/RCV during 2010.If you don’t know who represents you on the council check the KingCountyhome page and type in your address. That will get you your district number , from there you can find who your representative is along with their contact information.
II. Here are some Good Points to Make in Your Call or Letter ( Of course use your own words)
· RCV is more democratic and representative than our current plurality system because it ensures that the winner is supported by a majority of voters. It encourages higher voter turnout and is a more precise measurement of voter preferences.
· RCV allows people to vote for their preferred candidates without the threat that by doing so they may help elect the candidates they support the least.
· It has the potential to save hundreds of thousands of dollars each cycle by consolidating the low-turnout August primary into the high-turnout general election.
· RCV has proven very popular around the country from Cambridge, Massachusettswhere it has been used for decades, to Burlington, Vermontto San Francisco, where it has earned high voter reviews since being instituted in 2005. In PierceCountyit was supported by a clear majority of the voters when placed on the ballot in 2006. In fact, IRV/ RCV has won in each of the last ten elections where it was placed on the ballot.
· Although we hope that they support IRV/RCV, bringing the Charter Review Commission’s IRV recommendations to the council and voting to adopt them doesn’t necessarily mean that they support the adoption of IRV in King County; it just means they think IRV is worthy of further study. During the Charter Review Commission’s public hearing process more than 20 people testified in favor of the adoption of IRV. This was more than twice the number that spoke about any other issue. Given the broad level of public support here and around the country we should at least give IRV a closer look.
III. Once you have made your call or written your letter, please call or email us to let us know that you did so, and send us any response that you received from the office of your representative.
Joe Szwaja (206) 523-3656; firstname.lastname@example.org
President Instant Runoff Voting /Ranked Choice Voting of Washington