Resolution 8 - Ranked-Choice Voting
This proposal would make the County Elected Offices determined by ranked-choice voting as of January 1, 2026.Why does the Charter Review Board want it?
This amendment presents a completely new way of voting that will disenfranchise voters who are less likely to vote in the first place. The ultimate goal of this resolution is to flip as many seats from Republican to Democrat.Why should you REJECT this resolution?
Clark County has had numerous election issues in the past several years regarding voting procedures, processes, and counting results. For example, the Elections Department has mailed incorrect ballots multiple times to voters in the past few years. These serious elections management issues must first be addressed and corrected.
Currently the Charter Review Board wants to implement a new system called Ranked-Choice Voting (RCV), which will amplify these election operational problems and make them worse. The liberal Columbian Newspaper even thinks this resolution is a bad idea.¹ Click here to view the editorial.
Here are some other reasons to reject RCV which are just as critical to consider:
- RCV gives some voters more than one chance to vote for a losing candidate – voting is turned into a lottery, and that’s not fair.
- Example 1: If a voter’s first choice becomes the last ranked candidate, and he/she keeps voting for the same candidate again and again, then their vote counts multiple times. Notice that it’s the most extreme (or last placed) vote that keeps getting another chance. Why should anyone get more votes than anyone else?
- Example 2: In the 2010 mayor’s race in Oakland, California, the candidate with the most first-place votes eventually lost the election to a candidate who had 25,000 fewer votes after nine (9) rounds of counting.
- Example 3: A 2015 study reviewed 600,000 votes cast using RCV in four local elections in Washington State and California.² The winner in all four elections received less than a majority of the total votes cast due to "ballot exhaustion" (when a ballot has no more valid votes and must be discarded).
- RCV simply doesn’t work and has been repealed by voters numerous times. Let’s learn from others’ mistakes and not make the same blunder in Clark County.
- Example 1: In Alaska, it took 16 days after voting before anyone had any idea who won the special House election held on August 16, 2022; the outcome wasn't even finalized until August 31st, 2022.³ Favored candidate Sarah Palin would have won due to the most votes received, however, she DID NOT WIN due to RCV. She also went on record by saying that Ranked-Choice Voting is designed to benefit Democratic Candidates.⁴ Additionally, click here to listen to the John Carlson Radio Show discussing issues in the Alaska Congressional Race with RCV.
- Example 2: In 2009, in Pierce County, Washington, voters repealed RCV. Why? The implementation was costly, the candidate with the most votes was not guaranteed to win, and the voters did not like it.
- Example 3, 4 & 5: Many U.S. cities/states that tried RCV have repealed it for the above same reasons including Aspen, Colorado; Burlington, Vermont; Ann Arbor, Michigan; and the State of North Carolina.
- Example 6: In 2019, California Governor Gavin Newsom vetoed an RCV bill that would have allowed more cities, counties, and school districts across the state to switch to the RCV voting system. He stated, "We do not believe that the Board (of Supervisors) should be experimenting with San Franciscans’ hard-fought right to vote. Primaries and runoff elections have served our nation well for most of its history."
- RCV results cannot be easily verified in a recount or forensic audit.
- Currently, a single precinct can be quickly hand counted and compared to the electronic precinct tabulation, so any issues would become apparent. However, with RCV, the precinct tally would be subject to the entire Clark County tally (236 precincts) to validate a single precinct. This makes vote recount validation virtually impossible due to the costliness of verification. Click here to learn how ranked-choice voting is used to manipulate election outcomes.⁵
- RCV is confusing, disenfranchises classes of voters, and leads to low voter turnout.
- Example 1: Per the Alaska Policy Forum (July 2021), "RCV is a confusing system that can cause voters to make mistakes on their ballots or keep them from voting in the first place." Click here to read the Western Journal Article about how Republicans think RCV is a "Scam to Rig Elections".
- Example 2: The Campaign Finance Board and Board of Elections in New York failed so badly in implementation and educating voters about RCV that they were sued to scrap the entire system.⁶ RCV disproportionately discouraged Black and Latino voters from full participation.
- Example 3: The co-chair of the New York City Council’s Black, Latino & Asian Caucus said, "Under ranked-choice voting, the city of San Francisco has seen a depressed voter turnout in communities of color."
¹ The Columbian, "In Our View: Vote ‘no’ on ranked-choice voting question" Editorials, https://www.columbian.com/news/2022/oct/09/in-our-view-vote-no-on-ranked-choice-voting-question/
² Craig M. Burnett and Vladimir Kogan, "Ballot and Voter 'Exhaustion' Under Instant Runoff Voting: An Examination of Four Ranked-Choice Elections," Electoral Studies, Vol. 37 (2015), pp. 41–49, https://cpb-us-w2.wpmucdn.com/u.osu.edu/dist/e/1083/files/2014/12/ElectoralStudies-2fupfhd.pdf (accessed August 17, 2019).
³ Washington Examiner, "Alaska will be counting for weeks thanks to idiotic ranked choice voting" Editorials, https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/editorials/alaska-will-be-counting-for-weeks-thanks-to-idiotic-ranked-choice-voting
⁴ Sabia, Carmine. "Sarah Palin Sounds The Alarm On Ranked Choice Voting She Says Is Designed To Benefit Democrats" Conservative Brief, https://conservativebrief.com/benefit-67177/
⁵ Clark County Today, "How winners are losing in America’s elections" News, https://www.clarkcountytoday.com/news/how-winners-are-losing-in-americas-elections/?fbclid=IwAR3HW2AIcfVP-PFtlrRdbuRSR_bofYiozn95e8Ff0IMk0dm6BFyFhDjo0z0
Check out the videos below to learn more about the problems with Ranked-Choice Voting.
Check out the podcasts below to learn more about the issues with Ranked-Choice Voting.
John Carlson on Ranked-Choice Voting in the Alaska Primary
Steve Hobbs: Ranked-Choice Voting will disenfranchise people of color
Brad Klippert: Ranked-Choice Voting is complicated
Lars Larson on Ranked-Choice Voting in the Oregon General Election