Seattle initiative to implement ranked choice voting narrowly winning

Nov 15, 2022, 7:45 AM | Updated: 9:14 am
As of Tuesday night, 50.9% of voters were against changing Seattle’s voting method, but ranked-choice voting is ahead of approval voting 74% to 26%. (Photo from King County Elections)
(Photo from King County Elections)

Update 11/15 7:45 a.m.:

With new ballot count numbers released, the votes for changing the Seattle elections systems have started to narrowly edge out the votes against it. According to numbers released by King County Elections Monday evening, there are 138,439 votes for changing elections, or 50.5%, versus 135,515 votes against, or 49.4%.


Voters were tasked with deciding if a new elections system should be implemented in Seattle, and if a change were to happen, should the city implement ranked-choice or approval voting?

Initiative 134 is split up into two parts. The first, Prop 1a, is whether or not to implement a new system at all. The second part, Prop 1b, decides whether to change to ranked-choice or approval voting.

Ranked-choice and approval voting join November ballot after city council approval

In approval voting, voters select all candidates on the ballot who they approve of. The two candidates with the most votes for each office advance to the general election. Compared to this, in a ranked-choice voting system, voters would rank candidates for each office by preference. The candidate receiving the fewest votes would be eliminated. King County would include instructions on the ballot.

The group behind the approval voting initiative, Seattle Approves, submitted just over the 26,520 signatures necessary to qualify the measure for November’s ballot, according to King County Elections.

“Turn every election into an honest measurement of how many voters support each candidate. If you’ve ever thought, ‘I’d like to vote for that candidate, but I’d be throwing away my vote,’ you’ve experienced how our current system doesn’t accurately measure voter support,” according to the Seattle Approves website.

St. Louis adopted an approval voting system during its November 2020 election after using a similar initiative petition campaign. The measure — Proposition D — got the support of more than 68% of voters.

If approved, Initiative 134 would go into effect no later than 2025. If passed, ranked-choice voting would be implemented by 2027.

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Seattle initiative to implement ranked choice voting narrowly winning