Under San Francisco’s traditional voting system, interim Mayor Ed Lee and Supervisor John Avalos would be headed for a December runoff in which stark contrasts could be drawn between the moderate longtime bureaucrat and the progressive former social worker. It would have been interesting, but it’s not going to happen.
Under San Francisco’s ranked-choice voting system – in use for the first time in a competitive mayor’s race – Lee won with less than a third of first-place votes. Ironically, it’s Lee’s supporters who are calling for the end of ranked-choice voting. And Avalos and his backers believe it’s a beneficial system that should continue.
It’s a pattern that’s generally held true since the system was first used to elect supervisors in the city in 2004. Moderates have fared better under the system, but hate it. And progressives haven’t done as well, but believe in it.
Ranked-choice voting, pushed by progressive supervisors and adopted by voters in 2002, allows voters to rank their top three candidates in a race. If nobody secures a majority of first-place votes, the last-place candidate is eliminated and voters’ second and then third choices are counted instead. It’s repeated until somebody has more than 50 percent.
Full Article: S.F. ranked-choice voting hurts progressive backers.