San Diego, CA - More Choice San Diego, a coalition of nonpartisan voting rights organizations released a poll this morning that demonstrates how an election reform that would advance four, rather than the current two candidates to the general election, could be good for voter choice and public discourse (“Top 4 Ranked Choice”).
The poll, focused on the current Mayoral race, was conducted by EMC Research from February 6-9 in the City of San Diego.EMC polled 500 likely voters throughout the City; the margin of error is +/-4.4 percentage points.
The poll shows Todd Gloria (31%) in first, Barbara Bry (18%) second, Scott Sherman (15%) third (within the margin of error to Bry) and Tasha Williamson (4%) fourth.
The coalition used the current Mayoral race to test voter preferences under both systems. Under the current municipal “top-two”primary, voters in November will have to choose from just two candidates preselected by a smaller and less diverse electorate that participates in March. In 2016, for example, the turnout in the primary was just over 60% of the General Election turnout.
“Despite a large majority of San Diego voters having never heard of Ranked Choice Voting, almost half of respondents said they would support the coalition’s proposed reform. This is a great opportunity to educate the electorate about better ways to elect our representatives,” said Ed Chaplin, a leader of a local Chapter of Represent.us.
A Top 4 Ranked Choice system gives General Election voters four rather than two primary finishers.
“I’m proud to be a part of this coalition and to start talking to the voters of San Diego about reforms like this that can bring more competition to our elections and give more choices to voters,” said coalition Chair and Councilmember Mark Kersey.
In the General Election, voters would be able to rank the top four in their order of preference, first choice, second choice, third choice, etc. Ranked Choice Voting ensures that a majority winner is selected because second and third place“rankings” are counted when voters’ preferred candidates are eliminated. If no candidate wins a majority of first choices, the least popular candidate is eliminated and the ballots for this candidate are reassigned to the second choices on the General Election, voters would be able to rank the top four in their order of preference, first choice, second choice, third choice, etc. Ranked Choice Voting ensures that a majority winner is selected because second and third place “rankings” are counted when voters’ preferred candidates are eliminated. If no candidate wins a majority of first choices, the least popular candidate is eliminated and the ballots for this candidate are reassigned to the second choices on those ballots. This process continues until one candidate receives a majority of continuing ballots.
Top 4 Ranked Choice would assure more choice on the ballot in November when more voters are paying attention, incentivize more positive campaigning (because candidates will need to work for second- and third-place votes), and ensure that candidates and the press address a broader range of important issues brought forward by candidates all the way throughNovember.
View the poll results using a primary election turnout model here: http://bit.ly/top4primary
View the poll results using a general election turnout model here: http://bit.ly/top4general
ABOUT MORE CHOICE SAN DIEGO
Chaired by Independent Councilmember Mark Kersey, More Choice San Diego is a coalition of voting rights organizations including the League of Women Voters of San Diego, the local chapters of FairVote and Represent.us, and San Diego-based Independent Voter Project (IVP).
Learn more at: https://MoreChoiceSD.org/