Friday, December 9, 2022

Play

Sen. Markey rallies with unions and airport workers in D.C; PA Democrats 'showed up' for rural voters; Canadian mining expansion threatens tribes and watersheds in the Northwest.

Play

The U.S. House of Representatives passes same-sex marriage protections, Brittany Griner comes back to the U.S, while Paul Whelan remains detained in Russia, and a former anti-abortion lobbyist talks politics and the Supreme Court.

Play

The Farm Workforce Modernization Act could help more farmers, the USDA is stepping-up to support tribal nations, and Congress is urged to revive the expanded child tax credit.

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
A bill approved by Congress repeals the federal Defense of Marriage Act. That law, passed in 1996, prohibited the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Congress has signed off on a bill that preserves federal protections for same-sex and interracial marriages. A legal expert in Wisconsin says it …


Social Issues

Airport service workers rallied in Washington, D.C., Thursday to demand Congress pass legislation ensuring they receive a livable wage with stronger …

Social Issues

Before the pandemic, one in five people in Los Angeles County lacked consistent access to food - and in 2021, one in four low-income families …


According to the Georgia Department of Economic Development, the Peach State is sixth in the nation for public EV charging stations, at more than 1,500 outlets. (Michael Flippo/Adobe Stock)

Environment

Electric vehicles are an environmentally friendly way to get from one place to another, but the lack of charging stations often limits drivers to …

Social Issues

As Americans make end-of-year donations to their favorite causes, those that help children with cancer and their families say these households need …

The Farm Labor Organizing Committee was founded in 1968 to defend the rights and basic human dignity of farm workers regardless of immigration status. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

A labor union representing agricultural workers in Ohio, North Carolina and Virginia says it isn't waiting around for federal immigration reform to …

Social Issues

West Virginia's prison population has ballooned, and formerly incarcerated people face numerous obstacles when they are released. A Charleston-based …

Environment

As the year comes to a close, the Sierra Club of Connecticut is looking back on some of its accomplishments and challenges. The group focuses on …

 

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