Thursday, September 29, 2022

Play

Flooding and power outages are concerns as Ian ravages Florida, advocates urge remembering those with disabilities amid the hurricane, and there may be a link between flood risk and abandoned mine land.

Play

Floridians are urged to stay put as Hurricane Ian ravages the Gulf Coast, the U.S. suspects the Nord Stream pipelines were sabotaged, and the White House pledges to end hunger by 2030.

Play

Baseball is America's pastime, and more international players are taking the stage, rural communities can get help applying for federal funds through the CHIPS and Science Act, and a Texas university is helping more Black and Latina women pursue careers in agriculture.

Fargo Becomes First U.S. City to Try Approval Voting

Play

Wednesday, June 10, 2020   

FARGO, N.D. -- This week's municipal election in Fargo ushered in a new approach to the democratic process, as the city became the first in the nation to try "approval voting."

The system allows a voter to endorse as many people in a multi-candidate race as he or she likes. However, there aren't multiple winners; the candidate with the most votes still declares victory.

Aaron Hamlin, executive director of The Center for Election Science, which is helping spearhead the movement, said the current standard of deciding on one candidate has too many problems.

"And that really creates a lot of limitations for the voter, because it means they aren't able to fully express themselves," he said, "and we see all kinds of consequences, like vote-splitting between candidates and so on."

Skeptics of approval voting have wondered if voters still will be tempted to use ballot strategy by second guessing adding other choices so they don't harm their preferred candidate. They also have said a candidate still can win with less than 50% of the vote and not have a clear mandate to assume office. However, Hamlin said no voting method, including ranked choice, can ever guarantee a majority when there are more than two candidates.

Jed Limke, who chairs the group Reform Fargo, helped get the question of switching to approval voting on the 2018 ballot, where it passed. He said alternative methods, such as a runoff system, have other side effects, such as requiring multiple elections.

"That stretches the campaign season out, that drains the resources of the candidates," he said. "High costs for running as a candidate limit the ability for all citizens to run for office."

He said that's why approval voting is a better option; it doesn't require election authorities to incur added expenses for new software and other needs.

Elsewhere in the country, the option will be considered by St. Louis voters this fall, and there's a push to get it on the ballot in Colorado.

Disclosure: Center for Election Science contributes to our fund for reporting on Campaign Finance Reform/Money in Pol, Civic Engagement, Civil Rights. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
The State of Florida encourages the public, especially citizens with disabilities and other special needs, to plan ahead for an emergency situation and know what to do in the event of an emergency. (Pixabay)

Health and Wellness

In an appeal to the public as Hurricane Ian barreled toward Florida, an advocate for persons with disabilities urged everyone to consider checking in …


Social Issues

The average cost of keeping a roof over your head in Utah's metro areas is a lot more than it used to be - if you're renting. A recent University …

Environment

Washington state is considering a cleaner future for its buildings. The Washington State Building Code Council is holding public hearings, including …


Bonneville Dam on the Columbia River is located near the Oregon town of Cascade Locks. (RG/Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

A popular fishing site on the Columbia River for members of the Yakama Nation has been listed as Superfund site by the federal government. Now comes …

Social Issues

Some 35 million people in Wyoming and across the U.S. struggle to put food on the table, and older adults experiencing food insecurity face numerous …

A new poll from Quinnipiac University shows Texas voters say the border, at 38%, ranks first as the most urgent issue facing Texas, followed by abortion and inflation. (Wikilmages/Pixabay)

Social Issues

A Texas human-rights advocacy and immigration-reform group opened two new community centers this week to help residents better understand their freedo…

Health and Wellness

A pilot program launched by the Todd County School District and the county's local health department offers free mental-health case-management service…

Social Issues

Whether it's Hurricane Ian, Fiona or other weather disasters, people are being warned about donating to fraudulent charities. Scams have become …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021