Answer

Q: Does the League of Women Voters Support or Oppose STAR Voting for Eugene?


A: Neither. The League of Women Voters policy is to speak with one voice on policy issues, and there is not a consensus on STAR Voting. It's complicated.

 

Locally, The League of Women Voters Lane County has many members who support STAR Voting and have been helpful and involved personally. 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've been fantastic to work with.

 

Statewide, The League of Women Voters Oregon stance is less rosy and also much more controversial, as it contains a number of factual inaccuracies and positions that don't mesh with the positions of many Leagues and League members, locally, statewide, and nationally. There is a push within the Oregon League to revise the position and make corrections as needed.

Still, their May, 2023 paper leads with the sentence: “We fully recognize that STAR voting is preferred to plurality, as is true for almost every other electoral system.”

 

Nationally, The League of Women Voters position is very supportive of voting methods like STAR Voting, and the position is inclusive of better voting methods broadly which comply with their goals:

"We encourage electoral methods that provide the broadest voter representation possible and are expressive of voter choices.

Whether for single or multiple winner contests, the League supports electoral methods that:

  • Encourage voter participation and voter engagement

  • Encourage those with minority opinions to participate, including under-represented communities

  • Are verifiable and auditable

  • Promote access to voting

  • Maximize effective votes/minimize wasted votes

  • Promote sincere voting over strategic voting

  • Implement alternatives to plurality voting

  • Are compatible with acceptable ballot-casting methods, including vote-by-mail"

STAR Voting excels at all of the above, as is widely documented in all available research. 

 

The Opposition Committee to Measure 20-349 is trying to weaponize the LWV against STAR Voting. That's unacceptable. 

Learn more about the astroturfing campaign to oppose STAR Voting here.

 

Robo-texts containing false and misleading statements about the LWV position:

"Hi friend, this is Jasia with the pro-democracy organization, Next Up Action Fund. The League of Women Voters of Oregon opposes STAR voting because it violates majority rules. Please help protect our democracy and vote NO on STAR, Measure 20-349. Stop to end"

Why this is False: 

  • LWV-OR prefers STAR Voting over the current voting method used for local elections in Oregon. 
  • The claim that STAR Voting "violates majority rules" is misleading and problematic. STAR elects the majority preferred candidate between the two finalists, just like current system does. No voting method can guarantee a majority in all cases, but STAR Voting is strong on this metric.
  • Learn more about STAR Voting and Majority winners here.

 

Mailers containing false and misleading statements about the LWV position:

Claim: Giving candidates the same score wastes your vote.

  • The mailer quotes LWV OR 2021 Report as saying "Any voter giving candidates (the) same score will not have their votes count." This is false and was corrected in the later version of the LWV White Paper. 
  • In STAR Voting voters can give voters equal scores if they like them equally. These scores are then counted, and help determine which finalists advance to the Automatic Runoff. In the runoff, it's one person, one vote. Your ballot counts as one vote, for Finalist A, Finalist B, or as an Equal Preference Vote between those two. In every case it's counted exactly as the voter intended in both rounds. 
  • Learn more about "Equal Preference Votes" here.

 

Claims: "STAR Voting violates majority rules." "With STAR Voting it's possible for the 1st choice of a majority of voters to lose?"

  • 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 Criteria 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: Is STAR Voting committed to open sourced implementation? Q: How does STAR Voting help marginalized communities? Q: What's wrong with our current system? Q: Is this the same as Ranked Choice Voting? Q: Why bother with the automatic runoff? Shouldn’t we just elect the candidate with the highest score? Q: What if I give both finalists the same score? Q: Would STAR Voting cost money or save money? Q: What if voter behavior isn't ideal under STAR Voting? Q: Is STAR Voting vulnerable to strategic voting? Q: Why is it a 0 through 5 star rating? Not more or less? Q: Does STAR Voting pass One-Person-One-Vote? Q: Is STAR Voting constitutional? Q: Has STAR Voting been used for elections before? Q: Can we use STAR Voting for Presidential elections? Q: Can STAR Voting elect winners who are not majority preferred? Q: Are STAR Voting elections secure? Q: Does the League of Women Voters Support or Oppose STAR Voting? Q: Why is a blank counted as a zero? Q: Are STAR Voting ballots "summable," or do they require centralized tabulation? Q: Why doesn't RCV break two-party domination? Q: Wasted Votes?: What's the difference between an exhausted ballot in RCV and an equal preference vote in STAR? Q: Will voters bullet vote with STAR Voting? Q: How are ties in STAR Voting broken? Q: What is a preference matrix? Q: Does STAR Voting fail the Later No Harm criterion? Q: Wouldn't I want to "bury" a strong second choice and give a higher score to a weaker opponent to help my favorite win? Q: Is STAR Voting compatible with Electoral Fusion (aka Fusion Voting)? Q: Did the Independent Party and Democratic Party of Oregon abandon STAR Voting?