SB 791 Rank-choice voting for state/local elections

Died In Committee on 06/26/21
Status (overview) of bill:
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This bill established ranked-choice voting counting first and second choices for federal and state elections, and non-home charter counties. Becomes operative on January 1, 2023.

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.

Fiscal Responsibility
Provides no funding for the special tabulator software required.

Limited Government
Rank Choice voting makes it impossible to see the winner by simply tallying the votes unless one person wins by majority. Instead every vote has an alternate vote depending on the overall tally. It requires some gymnastics inside the tabulator requiring special software. 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 ballot provides the elector the option to rank the candidates in order of choice: (A) If a candidate receives a majority of the first choice votes cast for election to the office, that candidate is elected. (B) If no candidate wins a majority of the first votes cast the candidate who received the lowest number of votes for 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. One election may save election cost, but the system is more vulnerable to fraud and error in each round of recount. This bill is a clear and present danger to the integrity of our election system.


  1. Marilyn Vigoren says:

    I do NOT support this bill. Voting should remain ONE ballot, ONE vote PERIOD. Since Oregon voting system went to all mail-in we lost all truth and transparncy in our elections with this bill it would further erode people’s confidence in our elections.

  2. Jamie George says:

    One vote one ballot. Rank choice seems a redundancy and after the explanation, it is too confusing. This is an extra cost we don’t need. As for reparations, my ancestors were native who were pushed off of their lands by the slave and slave holders, if the blacks want to be repaid for the slavery, then they need to make reparations to the native who they helped take lands and ways of life from.

  3. Vicky Long says:

    I agree with Marilyn Vigoren’s statement and that of Jaimie George above.

  4. Jesse Friedman says:

    What a disingenuous analysis! You don’t get multiple votes per person under RCV. Rather, it means that if your preferred candidate doesn’t have enough votes, your one vote transfers to someone who’s got a shot at winning. I trust the American public to understand it once they’re given an honest explanation, it’s worked in other states and even countries, and will work here. As far as extra cost, this will *save* money by eliminating primary elections for nonpartisan positions — you only need one vote, rather than two.

    • BJ says:

      So in other words… if the candidate you voted for isn’t the top vote-getter, your vote goes to someone you didn’t even vote for. Isn’t that correct? Sounds like a rigged system from the get-go. Voter turnout in Oregon is already pretty sad as it is, people will have even less reason to vote when they realize their vote may be over-ruled by a system like this. Voter suppression at it’s finest. No thanks!

      • dbleiler says:

        Not necessarily, you get first and second and maybe third choices. If your first choice is at the bottom on the first round of counting, they get eliminated. In the second round of counting your second choice would be counted, and if that person is at the bottom and eliminated, then your third choice would count on the third round of recounting. It’s a process of elimination until there is one candidate left. There is another type of ranked-voting where all choices are given a value and all counting in one count. That allows a voter to select the same candidate for all their choices to weight their vote. That is not this bill.

  5. Deborah Swenson says:

    This is a very bad idea. I want no part of it. Voting isn’t a hard concept, each person gets one vote, and only one vote. All that you are doing with choices is dividing the vote. A way to change the outcome. of voting.

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