Wait, there's an election in NYC this year? This year’s election may seem like NBD, with only one citywide race (Public Advocate, and Jumaane Williams is expected to win), but there are some potentially huge changes to the governing document of NYC up for a vote. What’s more, there are some updates to the voting process this election cycle designed to make it easier for you to cast your ballot. This week, we’re talking Early Voting (coming to New York just 10 days from now!), and possible charter revisions like Ranked Choice Voting.
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Early Voting will start on Oct 26 and run until Nov 3, leading up to Election Day on Nov 5. The Board of Elections is considering it a “pilot year,” to learn from this go-around ahead of *hopefully massive* 2020 turnout. Heads up: your early voting site may be different from your Election Day site. But wait, there’s more: charter revisions are up for a vote, which would amend our City’s constitution re: elections, police oversight, ethics, budget and land use. There are 19 amendments organized under 5 questions. Today, we’re highlighting the Q we believe has greatest potential to make real change: Ranked Choice Voting.
Ballot Q #1: Elections. RCV would give voters the choice to rank up to 5 candidates in primary and special elections for citywide offices like Mayor and City Council. Right now, whoever gets the highest % of votes wins, even if it’s less than 50%. Under RCV, if no one wins a majority on the first go, then the last-place candidate is eliminated and votes are re-allocated based on rankings. This is repeated until there’s a majority winner. RCV would force candidates to reach out to all voters, not just their base -- because being a 2nd, 3rd or even 4th choice increases the chances of winning. RCV eradicates the “spoiler effect” and motivates candidates with less establishment support and fewer resources (i.e. women & POC) to run.