1A for approval voting is superior to 1B for ranked choice. This modified version of ranked choice, technically called bottoms up, has never been used in a public election in the US. It would create uncompetitive general elections where the consensus choice is pitted against a weak opposition candidate with no hope.

You think it would be bad for approval voting to advance to centrists, but this is wrong. At least in that case, more ideological voters could vote for the less centrist candidate and have some hope of an upset. Whereas the ideologically skewed runner-up you'll get from bottoms up won't have a prayer. It will be a cakewalk for the primary voters' favorite.

You can easily see this looking at the 2021 approval voting mayoral race in St Louis. The center there was pretty progressive because of how Democratic St Louis is, so the two progressive women went to the general. The other two candidates were a conservative/corporate machine Democrat and a Republican, both men. Your argument would say that they should have replaced the runner-up progressive with one of those more conservative men, for the sake of having variety. But that would have just led to a cakewalk for the frontrunner. At least with the two progressives advancing, the conservative opposition had a chance to try to push for the slightly less progressive candidate as a lesser evil. Which apparently they did but it still wasn't enough.

Point is you haven't really thought through the nuances of voting reform at all apparently. This is just knee jerk identity politics. You see ranked choice voting as the progressive choice, regardless of what any of the science says.


Tana Senn and My-Linh Thai represent the 41st District, not the 42nd. And you can stick ranked choice voting right up your asses.


I despise those stupid advisory votes. Just a pure waste of money, and I'm sure there's some dopey Republican behind that.

I am very much for ranked choice voting.


"Seattle Approves, the campaign that brought the approval voting option to Seattle, used hundreds of thousands of dollars from California tech bros . . . ."

Ranched Choice 4 for Seattle, the funding mechanism for the competing ballot measure, also gets the bulk of its funding from outside of Seattle, with 77% coming from outside city limits.


A little bit of the SECB's soul died when it wrote that justification for a partisan SoS.


Huh, RCV got the thumbs down after much gushing over the approach for months now. Seems like racing an alternative to the ballot at the last minute to vote on alongside approval voting - which followed the process, mind you - wasn’t the best move after all.


@2 You may be correct about the superiority of approval voting. But if you're honest, you also have to admit that the St. Louis result may be a statistical anomaly. The idea just hasn't been tested in enough places to say for sure that a similar result would obtain in Seattle. You're like a pollster calling one random voter, asking how they plan to vote, and then predicting the election based on the answer. But still, you may be right. Once approval voting has been used in a least a few dozen races, and in a majority of them has demonstrably bent the results in a progressive direction, then it will be time to take a hard look at adopting it in Seattle. But not before then.

Both of these proposals seem awfully rushed, time-wise. The Stranger is correct to urge a No vote on the first question, to give us time to weigh them more thoroughly. But since approval voting may yet prove superior to RCV, I will leave the second question blank.


Where does state law rule Seattle can't elect candidates by a ranked choice contest at the time of the primary? How do yall define "primary"? The spoiler effect is more damaging than $15 million, as if NYC needed to do that.

Mandatory PTO for every primary and general? Kim Quaile Hill, Dennis Mueller, Paul Martin, James Avery, Valentino Larcenese, US Census Bureau ACS data election year after election year, Vincent Mahler, Navid Sabet, and Ioannis Theodossiou, all observed a stronger social safety net associated with increased voter turnout. Katie Wilson of Crosscut did too.

It would be interesting to see moving county races to even years actually increasing turnout, after it was actually implemented, instead basing a decision on past irrelevant observations of the status quo, in the county we're considering changing. The whole point is to increase turnout for the decisions concerning the county, where yall somehow write "voter fatigue" is negligible. I don't understand giving poor voters who have little to no time to make any decision at all even less time to do so.

Steve Hobbs has at least a year to get back to state legislature if he loses? If he wins SoS in a few weeks, we're voting in someone who voted against the National Popular Vote Compact, someone who voted against giving felons who served their time the right to vote back if they were still in debt, and someone who may imminently need to administer such changes under the same law that passed without him. If Anderson wins, district Democrat organizations will be pressured to actually interview candidates who identify as a Jon Grant, who couldn't get an interview with them bc he wouldn't identify as a Democrat, or a Kate Martin, who is not only conservative but is almost knowingly lying about their partisan affiliation. Votes go into endorsements.

And Jim told Real Change hot pursuit is justified over a stolen car. Said the new statewide status quo was more dangerous, didn't give any more info to substantiate that, but did go more into car theft data. He'd be responsible for the fate of a cop after an inquest proceeding. Also said a gross misdemeanor of up to a year is okay for a DUI instead of confiscating the car and alternative transportation vouchers. If the State Department or Tesla can scan passports or keys, new cars can scan a suspended license and not start up. If scooters have an automated indefatigable physical speed limit respecting the law off a limited access highway, a deadly weapon can have one too.


@10, mandatory PTO to vote from your sofa? In-person voting I get, but voting in WA by mail literally takes 10 mins. It all shows up in my mailbox, postage paid: the Amazon Prime of voting systems.


"One of those dorks, Matt Larkin, hopes to do his part by toppling Democratic Rep. Kim Schrier here in this central WA seat." "Central WA seat," indeed. Dingdong journalism - the Stranger is severely geographically challenged in its sophisticated political analysis, which means its analysis has no cred. Geography is everything. No points.


Rockyboy dear, District 8 extends to Chelan and Kittitas counties, which is very much central WA - although the district's population base is west of the mountains.

And Matt Larkin's campaign slogan is "Make Crime Illegal Again", which is pretty much the dorkiest statement ever.


@14 you’re either saying that a whole bunch of people should get life in prison without parole (as if we’ve actually tried everything else), AND assuming we will be able to keep them there forever (which is neither constitutional nor moral),

OR you just aren’t thinking about the fact that they will be out again in a little while and it’s not as simple as just putting them back in again as soon as they commit another crime, all the while where the same conditions cause more future crime from new people


I don't think the statement that "If the state does pass the bill, then the City would need to do something to combine the primary and the general elections" is factually accurate. The text in my voter pamphlet, page 53 2.18.020 states that RVC is for the primary only, and the general is still held as usual. It would seem to be a violation of this ordinance to combine the two. Paragraph A begins with "Nominating primaries shall be conducted using the bottoms-up method of ranked choice voting" and paragraph B begins with "Only the two candidates nominated in the primary shall appear on the ballot of the general election".

Unless I'm missing something, there is no conflict with the requirement for a primary and the text of 1B. And I'm worried that momentum could die if this doesn't get passed. I agree that primaries make little sense when you're using RVC (the system basically has a built-in and more comprehensive primary system by re-running the tallies each round), but I don't think that should prevent us from passing this ordinance.


The analysis linked and referenced below from the founder of the Sightline Institute offers a much better reasoned analysis of RCV's superior practical and legal track record compared to AV.

Who chooses to run for office has to do with funding, family responsibilities, personal wealth and privilege, and a number of factors that it is unreasonable to expect the election process to fix. And the turnout for Alaska's recent RCV Special Election primary was higher than the turnout for the previous three primaries, and 85% of Alaskans in an exit poll said that filling out the RCV ballot was "simple."

*Approval voting (AV) is brand new and little studied.
*AV hands voters a dilemma: pick your favorite but lose broader influence? Or try to block your least favorites but hurt your favorite?
*We don’t know whether AV dampens extremism or tamps down negative campaigning.
*AV in a top-two race, as in Seattle, could harm representation of minorities.
*AV may violate “one person, one vote” and/or voting rights acts.
*Ranked choice voting (RCV) performs better on each of these counts.
*In short, RCV is less risky than AV.


I was so happy to vote Ferrell out as Mayor for Federal Way - but I care more about criminal justice policy and will begrudgingly vote for Leesa. Completely selfish- just hoped he would be out of town 😂


"While we still long for a lefty challenger who can pose a serious challenge to Smith"

lol you literally endorsed Smith instead of his left challenger during the primary, helping ensure that a Republican would be in the general. When you had a chance for such a lefty challenger, you decide to throw your weight behind this war crimes enabler instead.

Just acknowledge that you're radlibs or clean house so that you no longer are, SECB. This is embarrassing.


@10 - Gross misdemeanor/up to a year in jail for a DUI is actually the law now. It's not up to the prosecuting attorney to say whether that is OK or not.


I'm not sure you understand how the courts work.

"Just as importantly, her lack of hesitation in affirming that jail doesn’t reduce recidivism (as the research proves) gave us confidence that she’ll avoid reflexively siding with prosecutors when they ask to lock people up before trial."

Whether jail sentences for crimes reduce recidivism is a completely different question than holding people in jail pre-trial. If someone is denied bail at the prosecution's request (which is rare in district or muni courts), it's generally because they are a danger to others or are a flight risk. It's not punishment.

"Impartiality is especially important in a court like SMC, which is full of baby lawyers dealing with misdemeanor crimes, which carry a maximum punishment of less than a year in jail. Many of those cases hinge on discretionary decisions made by the judge about which evidence to admit"

I agree that impartiality is extremely important. But not all that many cases in muni court end up turning on evidentiary decisions. That is far more important in Superior Court, where the cases are more complicated and a larger variety of evidence is offered. Impartiality in district or muni courts is more in play in terms of setting bail, sentencing, and dealing with warrants for non-appearance or with probation violations.


Too late, many, possibly most, of us have already voted. Really guys you could post these generally helpful recommendations about a week earlier. By chance (and possibly happy awareness) my choices closely parallel your advice with one notable exception: Adam Eisenberg is the 'correct choice' for Judge Position #3. He's been a pillar of the community, a proud member of the gay community, understands the subtleties of the legal system at this particular level and has always been impartial where impartiality counts. Ms Vaddadi will certainly become an important member of the public legal system when there's an opening not occupied by such an important champion of the public as Mr Eisenberg has always been.


If we'd had Approval Voting in 2021, Ann Davison would not be City Attorney. Read more about that here:


@8 Being anti-RCV feels like another “moderate” (read: embarrassed Republican) capitulation from the centrist (read: embarrassed Republican) management at The Stranger. They did the same sort of wishy-washy attacks on the progressives in the primary ECB as well when they hemmed and hawed against supporting the progressive challenger to Adam Smith and now they’re trying to present him as a progressive champion when he’s a fairly moderate politician.


@21 What exactly is it that you think the Secretary of State does that his environmental stances would actually matter?


If I find myself indecisive about which candidate to choose in a particular race, I just look at the Stranger's endorsement for that race and pick the other candidate. Thank you for providing this valuable service.

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