Voters' Rights Win in Pierce County
Early results in Pierce County show the voters sorting their way through some confusing proposed charter amendments to pass some worthy amendments and reject those which would have postponed a better voting system.
Charter Amendment 4 would have postponed implementation of IRV (or Ranked Choice Voting) until 2010 rather than the current law which requires implementation in 2008. No reason was given for delay. The Auditor has a plan in place to implement. The early results show this proposal being defeated 33-66%. We will have IRV in 2008.
Charter Amendment 5 would have required the Auditor to allow voters to make three rankings for each race in 2008 and not allowed for more rankings as technology improved. This restricts the Auditor's office from improving with technology. The early results show this proposal being defeated 39-61%.
Charter Amendment 6 will allow the Auditor's office to use current technology in 2008 and implement enhancements as they occur. This means voters will be allowed to make three rankings in each race in 2008. The early results show this proposal passing 55-45%. This will strengthen the Pierce County Charter and our elections.
Charter Amendment 7 levels the playing field for independents and third party candidates. With the passage of Amendment 7, these candidates will have the same ballot access as major party candidates. The early results show this good amendment passing 66-33%. More voter choice is on the way. Indeed, Mike Lonergan, Tacoma City Councilmember, has announced he is planning to run for Pierce County Executive next year as an independent.
The Pierce County Charter is now a model for election reform in the state. Congratulations to the voters of Pierce County.