SB 343 ranked-choice voting in counties

03/09/2021
SB 343 VOTE:NO
In Committee
Public Hearing
03/16/2021 1:00pm
Status (overview) of bill:https://olis.oregonlegislature.gov/liz/2021R1/Measures/Overview/SB343
Committee assigned to bill: https://olis.oregonlegislature.gov/liz/2021R1/Committees/SRULES/Overview

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This bill permits counties to adopt ranked-choice voting counting first and second choices. Requires Secretary of State to create and staff a subdivision to assist counties that adopt ranked-choice voting in purchasing compatible computers, voting machines, and vote tally systems.

Personal Choice and Responsibility
This method gives a voter first and second choice so if the first choice is eliminated by receiving the fewest votes, the voters second choice becomes their vote. In effect, it gives that voter two votes. In contrast, the person voting for the top candidates on the ballot only get one vote.

Fiscal Responsibility
Appropriates funds for Secretary of State for a new division. This is not being fiscally responsible with the shortage of funds. The Secretary of State shall create and staff a division dedicated to assisting counties that adopt ranked-choice voting under this section in purchasing compatible computers, voting machines and vote tally systems.

Limited Government
Rank Choice voting makes it very difficult to see the winner by simply tallying the votes. Instead every vote has an alternate vote depending on the overall tally. It requires some gymnastics inside the tabulator. In fact a special tabulator software is required. In the past you would have had one set of winners followed by a run off election if there was a 2 part election. This tries to do it all in one election and is very confusing to the electors. It will disrupt confidence in the election process.

Local Control
“Ranked-choice voting” means a method of casting and tabulating votes in which: (A) Electors rank candidates in order of preference; (B) If a candidate wins a majority of the first-preference votes cast for a nomination or public office, the candidate is nominated or elected to the public office; and (C) If no candidate wins a majority of the votes cast the candidate who received the lowest number of votes for the nomination or public office is eliminated. Ballots that identified a candidate eliminated as the first preference are awarded to the candidate listed as the second preference on the ballot and a new round of vote tabulation is held to determine if any candidate has won a majority of the votes cast. If no candidate wins a majority of the votes cast, the procedure is repeated until a candidate wins a majority of the votes cast for the nomination or public office. Counties may think this will save the county money from not having two elections, but the system is more vulnerable to fraud. This bill is a clear and present danger to the integrity of our election system, and also superimposes the Secretary of State on local elections.

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