Ranked-choice voting in SF


(KTSF by Jessie Liang)

Ranked-choice voting was passed by the voters as an amendment to San Francisco’s City Charter in March of 2002. Ranked-choice voting allows San Francisco voters to rank up to three candidates for a single office. This makes it possible to elect local officials by majority vote without the need for a separate run-off election.

San Francisco voters use ranked-choice voting to elect the Mayor, Sheriff, District Attorney, City Attorney, Treasurer, Assessor-Recorder, Public Defender, and Members of the Board of Supervisors.

San Francisco voters will elect a mayor next month and there are 16 mayoral candidates on the ballot. Ranked-choice voting method allows voters to mark their ballot with up to three mayoral choices, in order of preference. On election night the counting begins with all first choice selections. If there is a front runner who captures more than 50 percent of the vote, the race is over.

A spokewoman for San Francisco Department of Election, Carol Lao says, “If no one gets that majority, the candidate with the fewest first choice rankings is eliminated. If that person was your top selection, you get another chance because your vote is now transferred to your second choice and all the votes are recounted.”

When marking the ranked-choice ballot, keep in mind: If you select the same candidate in more than one column, that vote for that candidate will count only once.

As for smart phone users in San Francisco, they can use the bar code scan program to scan a QR code to get  election information.

(Copyright 2011 KTSF.  All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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