Multiple Utah cities set to use ranked-choice voting in next election
Friday, September 22, 2023
Across Utah, 10 cities will be using ranked choice voting in the general election in November.
In 2018, Utah passed a bill to establish a pilot program in which cities could use ranked choice voting.
Kelleen Potter, executive director of Utah Ranked Choice Voting, said the voting method "allows voters to express their will more fully." She pointed out ranked choice voting also encourages civility, especially among candidates who can work to appeal to more voters when they're looking to secure second- and third-choice support.
"So instead of this 'all or nothing' -- 'they're my friend, they're my enemy' -- you start looking at it differently, as a candidate and as a voter, where we're trying to come to a consensus and solve the problems we have in our jurisdictions, in our cities," Potter outlined.
Potter is convinced ranked choice voting is positive for democracy. In order for any candidate to be elected, they must receive 50% of the votes, unlike the current voting system. Potter added no voting method is perfect and said they are trying to educate Utahns and elections officials, some of whom have argued it is too confusing.
So far, they have found younger voters seem to be embracing the idea of ranked choice voting. Potter, who has run for public office herself, said the method is gaining popularity, but is taking longer in more conservative states. However, according to FairVote.org, Utah has the most cities of any state to be using ranked choice voting.
"We saw that in every city, over 50% of the voters liked it, and that ranged up to the 80s and 90s in some cities," Potter reported. "We find that voters, after they've used it, and it doesn't seem so scary, and they go, 'Oh yeah, this makes sense to me.' They tend to really like it."
Potter contended ranked choice voting also saves cities money by only needing to hold one general election in November, rather than an August primary followed by another election in November.
get more stories like this via email
California tribes are headed to the White House Tribal Nations Summit tomorrow, where they will ask Congress and the Biden administration to create …
A new report shows Maine is exceeding the home-heating goals set forth in its ambitious four-year climate plan to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions…
By India Gardener / Broadcast version by Nadia Ramlagan reporting for the Kent State-Ohio News Connection Collaboration. According to Attorney …
It's estimated that one in three Kentuckians struggles to pay medical bills, and the issue continues to be a driving factor in personal bankruptcy …
Senate lawmakers are soon expected to vote on the Modernizing Opioid Treatment Access Act, legislation introduced this year by Republican Sen…
Health and Wellness
A new program in Utah wants to help first responders learn to recognize and work through their traumatic life events through horsemanship. This …
Health and Wellness
A coalition of Nevada groups is behind a statewide effort to make Nevada an Employment First state. That would align the state with a U.S. Labor …
Government accountability groups want increased transparency in New York criminal court decisions. This comes after a new report finds only 6% of …