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Seattle City Council puts ranked-choice voting on the ballot

By July 14, 2022August 5th, 2022News
Axios Seattle by Melissa Santos and Lewis Kamb

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AXIOS — City Council member Andrew Lewis, who sponsored the measure to put ranked-choice voting on the ballot, said at Thursday’s council meeting he wanted to allow voters “to choose the election form that is more broadly adopted across the United States,” as opposed to the “sparsely adopted” approval voting.

Critics of approval voting say it would allow the whiter, wealthier voters who take part in the low-turnout August primary to have an outsized say in who advances to the general — essentially, giving them extra votes.

Kamau Chege, executive director of WCA, said ranked-choice voting is a “common-sense solution” used in more than 50 jurisdictions across the country. He said approval voting, by contrast, could prompt a challenge under the state Voting Rights Act, and potentially violate the principle of one person, one vote. “I would be surprised if we didn’t end up with litigation” with an approval voting system, Chege told Axios Thursday.

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