The election is almost over! Time to start thinking about … future elections?
It might sound counterintuitive but it’s never too soon to start talking about potential changes to our election system.
That’s why RANGE is partnering with our friends at the Spokane Library to host a live podcast event to discuss ranked-choice voting (RCV), which allows voters to rank their preferred candidates, rather than forcing them to vote for just one.
When: Wednesday Nov. 16, 7 to 8:30 p.m.
Where: Spokane Central Library in the nxʷyxʷyetkʷ Hall (pronounced: inn-whi-whi-ettk, a Salish word meaning Life in the Water)
Who: Luke Baumgarten from RANGE Media, Marilyn Darilek from League of Women Voters, and Trenton Miller from FairVote WA
Thanks to a certain congressional race in Alaska featuring a certain former Vice Presidential candidate in September, RCV is having a bit of a moment. Sarah Palin might be able to see Russia from her house, but she clearly didn't see what was on the horizon in this summer's election when Alaska voters spurned her candidacy for a more moderate opponent (and Democrat, no less).
So what does Alaska have to do with Spokane? Glad you asked! RCV is on the midterm ballot in Seattle, Clark County and San Juan County this year, and there’s a growing statewide movement to bring it to other parts of Washington as well.
Advocates often say that RCV makes it harder to elect extreme (or extremist) candidates, but it can also make it easier for people to vote their conscience. So, rather than having to choose the better of bad candidates or feeling like one has to vote for majority party candidates or powerful incumbents lest their vote be “wasted,” voters can choose their first, second, third choices and so on.
We’ll talk about the pros and cons of RCV, and also talk about what the results of the elections on the west-side might mean for the statewide movement.
And don’t worry, it won’t just be Luke jawing the whole time, there will be plenty of time for questions from the audience and even an activity.
In a larger programming note: you may have noticed that the podcast has been on a bit of a hiatus this summer… and fall. But hopefully you’ve also noticed that we’ve been focusing our capacity on bringing you more original reporting and more written work.
We’re planning to bring the podcast back in the new year, but in the meantime, come hang out with us as we learn about RCV and test out this new format.