Local Group Attempts to Reform Kansas City Voting System

Melinda Ivey // Published October 7, 2008 in Kansas City InfoZine
Kansas City, MO - infoZine - A new local organization, Kansas City for Ranked Choice Voting, has formed with the goal of amending the city charter to adopt ranked choice voting-also called Instant Runoff Voting-for all citywide elections in Kansas City, MO.

Ranked Choice Voting is a voting method in which voters rank their preference among all of the candidates running in a single election, and those preferences are counted until a candidate emerges with a majority of votes. The system eliminates the need for runoff elections, saving the city hundreds of thousands of dollars as the ranking method provides an "instant runoff" of the remaining candidates if no candidate receives over 50% of the voters' top choice.

According to the group's website ranked choice voting removes the "spoiler effect" from elections, in which multiple-party elections have the effect of "splitting" the vote for the two major parties.

Said Dee Berry, member of KCRCV, "With ranked choice voting, we save money by eliminating primaries, and we promote democracy by making city elections more fair."

The group will hold a "Re-Cast Your Ballot" event in November in which citizens are invited to re-cast their November vote using the ranked choice voting system. The date is to be determined.