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City Council hears case for ranked-choice voting

The measure would allow voters to rank their candidates, from best to worst
Posted at 8:23 PM, Jul 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-12 10:40:10-04

COLORADO SPRINGS — Voter turnout in local elections has always been very low. City Councilmember Bill Murray expressed those concerns, saying "Our people aren't voting. They're not voting. Period".

Today, a new measure heard by the council might help change that. It's called ranked-choice voting, and it could be on your Colorado Springs ballot in the future.

Linda Templin, the Executive Director of Ranked Choice Voting for Colorado, a non-partisan organization advocating for this type of voting, says the process is a better way to make your voice heard.

"You simply say who you love, who you like, and who you can live with. You don't have to do mental gymnastics like you do now and vote for the lesser of two evils," she describes.

Here's how the process works: rather than voting for a single candidate, you can rank all candidates on the ballot, from favorite to least favorite. If no candidate wins a majority in the first round, then the clerk's office eliminates the last-place candidate. Those candidates' votes are then given to those voters' second favorite choice until a majority winner is decided.

This could potentially let voters express their values besides voting for a single candidate.

It also has the potential to save time and resources by eliminating runoff elections.

But, there are some who have concerns. El Paso County Clerk and Recorder Chuck Broerman spoke against the measure, concerned that this effort would not actually improve turnout. Instead, he says, it might increase confusion among voters.

“They just don’t have sufficient information to know the particular, the in-depth details on where candidates stand on various issues, whether it’s roads, policing, public safety, and the likes. Doing that mental calculus on the ballot may not always present itself in the best way,” said Broerman.

For now, the measure has no timeline of when it might pass. Now that the city council has heard both sides of the argument, they have the opportunity to discuss it amongst themselves to decide if they should bring it to a vote.
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