MYNORTHWEST NEWS

With deadlines looming, King County hits pause on push for ranked choice voting

Jul 12, 2021, 4:19 PM | Updated: Jul 13, 2021, 6:08 am

Washington State Voter's Pamphlet, ranked choice voting...

(MyNorthwest file photo)

(MyNorthwest file photo)

Ranked choice voting in King County will have to wait, after county councilmembers opted to delay plans that would have put it to voters this November.

King County to explore putting ranked choice voting on ballot

The initial proposal was led by County Councilmember Girmay Zahilay, and would have had voters decide on whether to give King County Council the authority to amend its charter to allow ranked choice voting, and then begin the process of devising a roadmap.

Despite the relative success it has seen in cities like San Francisco, Oakland, St. Paul, Santa Fe, and elsewhere, King County councilmembers expressed concerns over rushing the process ahead of the November 2021 election.

“Most of my colleagues shared our interest but understandably wanted more time to work through the details without the fast deadlines associated with this November’s ballot,” Zahilay said on Twitter.

Councilmembers had also heard a range of feedback from the public. While supporters touted how it could bring “more equitable representation” to the election process, others spoke of “serious downsides that have not been discussed or explored.”

Ranked choice voting has been implemented in 20 jurisdictions across the United States over the last decade-plus.

King County district forges ahead on smartphone voting

In practice, it allows voters to list their favorite candidates in order of preference. On the tabulation side, if any one person garners 50% of first place votes, the election is over and that candidate wins. In the event there’s no majority winner, ballots are put through an automated runoff, starting from the candidate who received the fewest first-place votes.

That candidate is then immediately eliminated. After that, all of the people who listed that last-place candidate as their first choice will have their second-choice votes allocated to the remaining candidates. If no candidate has a majority after that, the process repeats again and again, moving from the bottom up until someone gets to 50%.

Zahilay plans to continue working on his proposal with eyes toward the 2022 ballot, crediting early support as having “laid the foundation” for the near future.

MyNorthwest News

Image: A Seattle Police Department vehicle...

Heather Bosch

Accused Seattle home invasion robbers face hate crime charges

King County Prosecutors have filed hate crime charges against two men allegedly involved in at least three home invasion robberies.

4 hours ago

Image: An artist rendering of the proposed In-N-Out Burger in Ridgefield...

Steve Coogan

First In-N-Out Burger to come to the state of Washington

Ridgefield City Manager Steve Stuart confirmed Thursday the city has received a building permit application from In-N-Out Burger.

4 hours ago

Image: Monroe High School....

Julia Dallas

Monroe teacher being investigated for alleged sexual misconduct with student

A Monroe High School teacher is under investigation for alleged sexual misconduct with at least one student.

7 hours ago

federal way baby kidnap...

Frank Sumrall

Florida couple arrested after kidnapping a relative’s baby in Federal Way

In order to kidnap the baby, the couple allegedly zip-tied the mother in her home in Federal Way and stuffed the child in a red duffle bag.

11 hours ago

Foster teens...

Bill Kaczaraba

Wash. foster children could get boost from legislature

State senate legislation recently approved by the House aims to enhance foster care support for young people aged 18 to 21.

11 hours ago

Seattle home sales...

Bill Kaczaraba

Redfin: Seattle-area home sales impacted by climate, environmental factors

Seattle-area home buyers are becoming more interested in factors beyond the home itself. Redfin has added a 'Climate' tab to its website.

13 hours ago

With deadlines looming, King County hits pause on push for ranked choice voting