Thursday, February 11, 2010

Berkeley and San Leandro Adopt Ranked Choice Voting

By Robert Gammon
Thu, Feb 11, 2010 at 12:14 PM

The Berkeley City Council earlier this week adopted ranked choice voting for the November election after the San Leandro council did the same, the Berkeley Daily Planet reports. The decisions by Berkeley and San Leandro will significantly lessen Oakland’s costs this year for the new voting format.

If Berkeley and San Leandro had decided to vote no, then Oakland would have had to spend up to $1.5 million this year on start-up costs. But because they agreed to also implement ranked choice voting, then Oakland’s expenditure is estimated to be no more than about $900,000, and likely will be less. In other words, fears that ranked choice voting would significantly harm Oakland’s budget have proven to be unfounded.

Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates told the Express last month that the Berkeley council was prepared to reject ranked choice voting if San Leandro decided not to adopted it, because without San Leandro’s involvement, then Berkeley’s costs to implement the new voting format would have been too high. Unlike Oakland, Berkeley and San Leandro did not have a strict voter mandate to implement ranked choice voting.

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