Thursday, May 19, 2022

Play

U.S. mayors train to fend off increased threats and harassment, the Illinois governor signs a ban on 'Ghost Guns,' and death anxiety could play a role in Vladimir Putin's Ukraine invasion.

Play

The White House asks Congress for more pandemic support, the House passes a domestic terrorism bill, Kansas' Supreme Court upholds a new congressional map, and a House committee hears testimony on abortion access.

Play

From off-Broadway to West Virginia: the stories of the deadly Upper Big Branch mine explosion, baby formula is on its way back to grocery shelves, and federal funds will combat consolidation in meatpacking.

'Approval Voting' Campaign Gets Boost in WA

Play

Thursday, February 25, 2021   

SEATTLE -- An effort in Washington's largest city aimed at making elections better reflect the will of voters is getting some new funding.

The Center for Election Science is making a $70,000 grant to Seattle Approves, and four other groups around the country.

Seattle Approves wants to change the city's primary elections so that voters select all the candidates they support, rather than just one.

Logan Bowers, a former Seattle city council candidate, saw voters struggle with a crowded field of candidates, and thinks approval voting would make the process easier.

"If there's two candidates that have similar views, they don't have to worry that their vote is going to be split, and then both candidates will lose," Bowers explained. "And so, the net result of that is, the candidates who make it through tend to be favored or approved by more voters than the current system."

The grants are being made to groups to fund polling and legal services for potential campaigns. Voting reform groups were also chosen in the San Francisco Bay Area; Austin, Texas; Missouri and Utah.

Troy Davis, a volunteer for Seattle Approves, said the group will see if the City Council is willing to pass the reform. If not, they could gather signatures to put approval voting on the ballot next year.

Davis argued the change would make elections more democratic.

"It's the most effective, easiest to adopt, lowest-cost; really one of the only, few things we can do to make a huge impact for essentially no trade-offs," Davis contended. "If we were designing elections today, this would already be the case."

Debra Morrison, another volunteer for the group, said she doesn't like to choose favorites.

"For me as a voter, it's much easier for me to say, 'Well, I like these three people. I don't necessarily have a strong opinion about which one I like the best or the second-best,'" Morrison pointed out.

Seattle is ripe for election reform.

In 2015, it became the first city to create a "democracy voucher" program, which allots voters four $25 vouchers they can give to any eligible candidate in municipal elections.

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


get more stories like this via email
The Nature Coast Aquatic Preserve along with the Big Bend Seagrasses, St. Martins Marsh Aquatic Preserves and the Pinellas County Aquatic Preserve together protect the largest contiguous seagrass meadow in the Gulf of Mexico and the largest spring-fed seagrass habitat in the world. (Charlie Shoemaker for The Pew Charitable Trusts)

Environment

This afternoon, members of the public will get to have a say on the management plan for the first new aquatic preserve created in Florida in 32 years…


Social Issues

May is Community Action Month, and local agencies helping low-income families hope Congress signs off on a plan to bolster and modernize their …

Environment

After two decades of drought and with no relief in sight, many Utahns are looking for ways to conserve water, and for many residents, part of the …


As many as 80% of the homes lost to wildland fires could have been saved if their owners had followed a few simple fire-safe practices. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

May is Wildfire Awareness Month, and state officials are encouraging Coloradans to get up to speed on prevention and emergency-exit strategies if …

Social Issues

The White House is fielding pitches from top Democratic lawmakers about their desire to dramatically expand student loan forgiveness. While a …

Beyond school counselors, parents and private providers, mental-health advocates urge faith-based and other community groups to provide safe spaces for kids dealing with stress and anxiety. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

As the school year winds down, education leaders are shedding light on increased mental-health demands among students, including thoughts of suicide…

Social Issues

A new report found dishonest employers steal from some 213,000 people in Ohio each year by paying them less than the minimum wage; and it is just one …

Social Issues

Illinois has a new law banning the sale and possession of "ghost guns," essentially untraceable firearms that are sold in kit-form online or at gun sh…

 

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