Connor Radnovich
Salem Statesman Journal

Originally at: The Statesman Journal

Syndicated at: The Register Guard 


STAR vs ranked-choice: Oregon lawmakers consider changing how you vote


Connor Radnovich

Salem Statesman Journal | USA TODAY NETWORK

Oregon has been at the forefront of election reforms for years, positioning itself nationally as a gold standard for ballot access with the inclusions of vote-by-mail, automatic voter registration and prepaid ballot postage.

Now, state leaders are starting to take a look at the very system used to select winners.

Election reform advocates have proposed at the Oregon Legislature competing overhauls to how the state conducts its elections, with both plans aiming to expand voter participation and better reflect voters’ true opinions.

Despite those shared goals, proponents of each measure say the other is not a suitable solution to the problems they see in the current system.

These two paths under consideration are rankedchoice voting and STAR (Score then Automatic Runoff) voting.

Proponents of ranked-choice say it is the only alternative voting system to our current one that has a track record of success in governmental elections around the world.

Advocates for STAR say it is ranked-choice voting 2.0 and benefits from years of election research and modeling, which allows it to achieve the promises of ranked-choice voting.

Those on both sides of the issue acknowledge it is unlikely that the seven bills in the Legislature advance this year because of the session’s unusual virtual nature and the partisan politicking that has slowed much of the work in the House of Representatives.

However, they say that discussing these ideas in the open now allows for more serious conversations later, especially as they eye changes before the 2024 election.


To read the full article click the links below:

Originally at: The Statesman Journal

Syndicated at: The Register Guard 


Note that this article initially included a few errors. Some have been corrected and some are in the process of being corrected.
1. In STAR Voting, voters score candidates from 0 up to 5 stars. The article incorrectly stated that "voters also rank candidates based on preference."

2. Sara Wolk was misquoted regarding RCV and tactical voting:

From the article:

One of the biggest issues with ranked-choice voting, Wolk said, is that it doesn't completely solve the problem of tactical voting, where voters feel they are forced to pick the "least bad" of, for example, two options to keep a terrible third candidate from winning."
Wolk followed up to clarify:
"Sorry, that's not what I had said. It's been proven that no voting method can completely eliminate tactical voting in every possible situation, but it is possible, like in STAR Voting's case, to eliminate incentives to vote tactically and to ensure that an honest vote is a strong vote.

The problem with RCV is that voters think they can and should vote their conscience, and that the need for lesser-evil voting has been eliminated, but voting your conscience in RCV can actually backfire in serious ways.  So the problem isn't tactical voting, it's the unrepresentative outcomes that can result from people not understanding the implications of how and when their rankings may or may not be counted in Ranked Choice Voting."



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