This page answers the most frequently asked questions about the STAR Voting for Eugene campaign. If you want a deeper dive, check out our full list of STAR Voting FAQs.


STAR Voting for Eugene FAQ and Opposition Fact Check


Q: What’s wrong with our current voting method?

  • “Choose One” Plurality Voting is only accurate when there are two candidates in the race. That’s why we have a two-party system.
  • When there are more than two candidates, vote-splitting can cause a majority coalition to end up divided and conquered (aka the Spoiler Effect).
  • Voters often have to be strategic and vote for the lesser of two evils.


Q: What is STAR Voting?

  • STAR Voting is a more expressive voting method using a 5-star ballot.
  • Voters give their favorite(s) 5 stars, their last choice(s) 0 stars, and score other candidates as desired. You can score candidates equally if you don't have a preference, and scores show how much or how little you support each option.
  • The two highest scoring candidates are finalists and your vote goes to the finalist you scored higher. The finalist with the most votes wins.


Q: What will Measure 20-349, STAR Voting for Eugene do if passed?

  • All publicly elected Eugene city officers (mayor, city council, and EWEB commissioners) will be elected using STAR Voting starting in 2026.
  • Those same elections will no longer have expensive, low-turnout primaries. Since STAR Voting works well with any number of candidates, those races will have only a single election held in November, when turnout is highest and most representative.


Q: Am I eligible to vote on this measure, when do I need to vote by, and what does it need to pass?

  • STAR Voting for Eugene is on the ballot for active registered Eugene city voters regardless of party affiliation or non-affiliation right now as Measure 20-349.
  • If you match the eligibility requirements above and have not received your ballot in the mail, contact Lane County Elections.
  • You have until Tuesday, May 21st at 8:00 PM to get your ballot postmarked or turned into an official ballot drop box or the Lane County Elections office during open hours.
  • If over half of the votes on Measure 20-349 are YES votes, the measure will pass.


Q: What are the benefits of eliminating primary elections?

  • STAR Voting is highly accurate with any number of candidates in the race, so there’s no need for an expensive primary for nonpartisan elections in most cases.
  • Oregon primaries generally have lower and less-representative turnout than general elections.
  • Eliminating expensive, low-turnout primaries makes running for office more accessible and affordable, shortens the campaign season, and saves taxpayers money.


Q: Does this mean I will no longer vote in a Democrat or Republican primary?

  • No. This measure only affects Eugene city elections, which are already nonpartisan.
  • If you’re an active registered Eugene city voter, you are eligible to vote on this measure regardless of party affiliation, and the measure will only affect the local nonpartisan races you are already eligible to vote in.


Q: Wasn't STAR Voting on the ballot before?

  • STAR Voting was on the ballot for Lane County in 2018.
  • It almost passed, but a closer look at the results showed that Eugene voters voted YES by 54%. We're excited to try again and take this over the finish line!


Q: Why not just go with Ranked Choice (RCV)? Will we vote on RCV soon?

  • RCV is not on the ballot in Eugene this May. In November, Oregon voters will vote on whether to adopt RCV for select statewide and federal races. That measure does not affect local Eugene city elections.
  • STAR Voting was invented to go further to deliver on the goals of RCV, while addressing valid concerns and known issues with RCV.
  • In RCV, simple voter errors can invalidate your ballot. In STAR, scoring candidates equally is allowed and voters can vote however they want, so this is not an issue.
  • In RCV, not all rankings given are actually counted, and ignoring this ballot data leads to serious issues in competitive elections. STAR Voting is more accurate because all ballot data is counted and every ballot is included in the deciding round.
  • STAR Voting is tallied in two rounds of plain addition only, so it's simpler and more transparent, more resistant to strategy, and easier to officiate and audit.
  • STAR Voting is tallied using addition, so it can be tallied quickly and easily at the local level. This means it scales well, while RCV requires centralized tabulation, making it less secure, creating logistical and legal issues, and causing significant delays before results can be reported.


Q: What if I score both finalists equally?

  • If you have a preference between candidates, you should show it, but regardless, the scores you give will always help your favorites advance.
  • If you give both finalists the same score, your vote will actively be counted as a vote of Equal Preference between those two. You like or dislike them equally. 
  • The ability to give candidates equal support, if desired, is critical for getting accurate results when there are many candidates in a race.
  • See our full FAQ for a longer explanation of Equal Preference Votes with visuals.


What about multi-winner and Proportional Representation (PR) elections? 

  • STAR Voting is adaptable and can be used for multi-winner races as well. There is a proportional representation version using the same ballot, called Proportional STAR Voting, that Eugene could upgrade to in the future if desired.


Would STAR Voting for Eugene cost money or save money?

  • STAR Voting for Eugene would save money by simplifying and streamlining our elections. STAR Voting is compatible with our existing elections infrastructure and would not require new equipment. 
  • Initial transition costs would likely be recouped within the first few election cycles because of the elimination of expensive primary elections. 
  • The main upfront costs would include voter education, software upgrades, and one-time certification costs.
  • The Equal Vote Coalition has committed to an inclusive, multi-lingual, accessible, free voter education campaign throughout Eugene that has already started.
  • See our detailed breakdown of the cost of implementing STAR Voting.


Q: Where has STAR Voting been used for elections to date? 

  • STAR Voting is being used increasingly frequently in both the public and private sector, including for Oregon political party elections at the local and statewide levels.
  • Oregon and Eugene have led the nation on many important electoral innovations including the initiative petition process, motor voter registration, and vote by mail. Eugene has another opportunity to lead by example and be the first jurisdiction in the world to use STAR Voting for public elections.
  • To set up a STAR election or try it for yourself, go to


Q: Is STAR Voting constitutional? Does it pass One Person, One Vote?

  • Yes! Your ballot is your one vote and your one vote goes to the finalist you prefer.
  • The legal definition of One Person, One Vote is an Equally-Weighted Vote. STAR Voting ensures that all votes are equally powerful no matter how many candidates you have on your side and whether or not your favorite can win.
  • STAR Voting is not only fully constitutional in Oregon, but it's constitutional and legally viable all over the country.


Responding to opposition


Q: Would STAR Voting disenfranchise voters of color?

  • No! STAR Voting levels the playing field for both voters and candidates.
  • In the current system, the threat of vote splitting empowers establishment candidates and parties to stop prospective candidates from running for office.
  • To get past this gatekeeping and convince voters to vote for them, candidates must be highly electable (i.e. incumbents and rich and famous people) to have any chance of winning. Electable candidates overall tend to be disproportionately white.
  • With STAR Voting, all voters would be empowered to freely and honestly support all the candidates they like without the fear of vote splitting causing their least-liked candidate to win.
  • The turnout in primary elections is often biased in favor of white voters. STAR Voting for Eugene eliminates the expensive, low-turnout primary and places the entire election in November, when turnout is most representative.
  • In STAR Voting, every voter gets exactly one full vote for the finalist they prefer, regardless of how many candidates they strongly support. This makes every voter equally powerful, unlike the current system that reduces voting power for voters with more candidates on their side.
  • Check out how STAR Voting would help improve representation for marginalized communities.


Q: Does the League of Women Voters Oppose STAR Voting?

  • Claims that the LWV opposes STAR Voting for Eugene are false. The League of Women Voters policy is to speak with one voice on policy issues, and there is not a consensus on STAR Voting. 
  • Locally, The League of Women Voters Lane County has been very helpful and supportive. As a group the Lane League co-hosted a Town Hall series on STAR Voting with The Equal Vote Coalition and the Eugene Library. They are officially neutral. 
  • The state League has put out a series of factually inaccurate white papers, and there is an internal effort to correct more misinformation in the 2023 white paper. They officially prefer RCV, but stated “We fully recognize that STAR voting is preferred to plurality, as is true for almost every other electoral system.”
  • The national League of Women Voters position is strongly supportive, as STAR Voting best passes the metrics they prioritize. Their position is: "We encourage electoral methods that provide the broadest voter representation possible and are expressive of voter choices."
  • Learn more here.


Q: Does STAR Voting violate majority rules? Can a candidate with the most votes lose?

  • Misleading. The claim that STAR violates majority rules is misleading.  STAR Voting always elects the majority preferred finalist, who will also always have the most votes.
  • STAR Voting's scoring round ensures that winners have broad support across the electorate, and the automatic runoff ensures that the finalist preferred by the majority wins. 
  • In the current system, a candidate can win with a 51% majority even if they campaigned on killing the other 49%. This is why a strict Majority Criterion is controversial and there's an argument to be made that a candidate who is preferred by 49% but is strongly liked by everyone should win instead. 
  • In STAR Voting it's technically possible that a candidate who was the first choice of a majority of voters might not be high enough scoring to make the runoff. If that were the case, they would be a weaker and more polarizing candidate than the frontrunners. 
  • Elections can have multiple majority supported candidates. STAR Voting aims to find the strongest majority by electing whichever of the two highest-scoring candidates is preferred by a majority of voters.


Q: Will my ballot be counted if I give two candidates the same score? What if they’re the finalists?

  • Yes! In STAR Voting, you are allowed to score multiple candidates equally if you like or dislike them the same.
  • The legal text in the STAR Voting for Eugene charter amendment requires the ballot instructions to clearly state that you are allowed to score candidates equally.
  • If you have a preference between candidates, you should show it, but regardless, the scores you give will always help your favorites advance.
  • If you give both finalists the same score, your vote will actively be counted as a vote of Equal Preference between those two. The final tally always has three numbers:
    • The number of votes for the first finalist.
    • The number of votes for the second finalist.
    • The number of votes of Equal Preference. 
  • The ability to give candidates equal support, if desired, is critical for getting accurate results when there are many candidates in a race.
  • See our full FAQ for a longer explanation of Equal Preference Votes with visuals.


Q: Is STAR Voting untested?

  • No! STAR Voting has been used by countless political parties, organizations, businesses, and groups. See our endorsements page for just a few of them.
  • The Independent Party of Oregon used STAR Voting for its statewide primary elections in 2020. “It worked perfectly.” They did not hold a primary in 2022, and if they hold a primary in 2024, they will use STAR Voting again.
  • The Democratic Party of Oregon (DPO) used STAR Voting in 2020 for presidential delegate selection as part of an ongoing pilot program to try out multiple different voting methods. The DPO Election Integrity Caucus has endorsed and recommended STAR Voting for use by the party.
  • STAR Voting has thoroughly been tested by election experts around the world and has performed spectacularly in peer-reviewed studies.
  • Eugene would be the first jurisdiction to adopt STAR Voting for public elections. This follows a pattern of Oregon and Eugene leading the country in public innovations, and especially electoral innovations.
  • Importantly, STAR Voting would NOT require any new hardware or major logistical changes to the existing election process.


This page answers the most frequently asked questions about the STAR Voting for Eugene campaign. If you want a deeper dive, check out our full list of STAR Voting FAQs.


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