Friends—we won’t get a real democracy until we update the rules of the game.
If you’re following closely, you know that our state’s redistricting is entering an unanticipated phase: the supreme court. Our analysis is coming to you in the next couple days, but in the meantime, read more here. The upshot is that this mess of a process clarifies why we need Ranked Choice Voting (RCV).
Winner-take-all elections have raised the stakes so high, the far-right has been able to leverage it to raise the temperature and sow distrust. RCV is one of the best tools available to address the deep flaws and structural racism in our electoral systems. It’s also how we keep insurrectionists out of our backyard. We’re working to bring RCV to Washington one city and county at a time. Here are 5 ways we’re fighting for RCV in Washington:
1) File lawsuits through the Washington Voting Rights Act
The WVRA, passed in 2018, made some groundbreaking advances in voting rights in Washington. When communities of color demonstrate our voting rights are being violated, we can file a lawsuit with the WVRA, and be part of the process of creating a solution.
2) Strengthen the Washington Voting Rights Act
The WVRA is huge but still needs some serious improvements. It can be expensive for working class Black and Brown communities to file a case. And many local judges aren’t familiar with proven remedies like RCV, or don’t think it can be used to resolve WVRA lawsuits.
3) Use ballot measures to pass RCV in charter cities and counties
Only cities and counties that have opted in can implement ranked-choice voting. So just 6 cities and 7 counties are allowed to do so. Next year, San Juan County voters will get to vote to switch to RCV for their county elections.
4) Pass a Local Options Bill to enable all cities and counties to pass RCV
Localities shouldn’t be banned from choosing RCV! That’s why we’re working to pass a Local Options Bill in the legislature, which will lift the RCV ban and give localities the choice for more representative and equitable elections.
5) Use RCV for presidential primaries in Washington
5 states already use RCV for presidential primaries. Every presidential primary, hundreds of thousands of Washington votes are needlessly wasted between when voters mail their ballots in and Election day.
What do you think? Have any questions? Tweet us your thoughts @wacommalliance. Keep up with the action and opportunities to get involved with our legislative newsletter The Tally.