There is a lot of misinformation being voiced on the resolution proposed for the Edmonds City Council supporting SHB1556. Allow me to speak on behalf of the resolution and dispel some myths.
SHB1156, the “Ranked Choice Voting Local Options Bill”, simply allows local jurisdictions the choice to adopt Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) if desired. Under current Washington state law, most cities and counties are prohibited from using RCV. The Edmonds City Council resolution simply supports a bill that would give Edmonds more local control and doesn’t force Edmonds to adopt RCV. Many other cities and counties in Washington have already passed resolutions in support of this bill.
On RCV itself, there are many studies examining the positive impact of RCV where adopted, some of the primary benefits are: (detailed articles https://tinyurl.com/FVWBENEFITS & https://tinyurl.com/RCVWA)
1. More Choices, Stronger Voices: RCV makes your vote more powerful. You can pick your favorite candidate first without worrying about throwing your vote away on someone that won’t win. And more candidates are encouraged to run since they don’t need to fear becoming a “spoiler.”
2. Issue-focused Campaigns With More Civility: With RCV, candidates are motivated to run positive, issue-focused campaigns and to reach out to all voters. If they can’t be your first choice, they’ll still want to be your second or third choice.
3. Equitable Representation: RCV can ensure that elected officials better reflect the communities they serve and that voters feel represented by their officials.
Support for the local options bill is about enabling local choice, not forcing adoption. Edmonds is a great town that embraces diversity and choice, please consider reaching out to Edmonds City Council representatives backing the resolution supporting SHB1156.
FairVote Washington has a rich collection of additional resources and research for those who want to learn more at fairvotewa.org