More Choice San Diego Submits Measure for Ballot Consideration

April 28, 2020
More Choice San Diego

Mayor, City Attorney and City Council races would be decided by Ranked Choice Voting

San Diego, Calif. - More choice, more voice, more diverse ideas, and more civil elections.

California and San Diego voters in particular, have set the standard for advancing nonpartisan election reforms that give all voters, regardless of party, more voice and more choice. Now, a broad and ideologically diverse coalition has proposed a simple, fair, and easy election reform.

More Choice San Diego, which includes a nonpartisan group of community leaders and electeds, including the League of Women Voters San Diego, San Diego’s Independent Voter Project (author of 2016’s successful Measure K), Fairvote,, Take Back Our Republic, Represent Women, the Committee for Ranked Choice Voting, and independent Councilman Mark Kersey, have submitted a proposal for the November ballot where four, instead of two, candidates advance out of the primary election.

Ranked Choice Voting is not new. It’s been enacted for some elections in 18 U.S.cities and the State of Maine.

How RCV San Diego Works

Asa voter you can still vote for only one candidate in the November General election, or you can rank the four candidates in order of preference (first choice, second choice, and so on). If no candidate receives a majority of first place votes, the candidate with the least number of votes is defeated. If that candidate was your first choice your vote is automatically transferred to your second choice. This process is repeated until a candidate has a majority of the vote.

Under the proposal, elections for San Diego mayor, city attorney and City Council would be decided by Ranked Choice Voting starting in 2022.

The group has submitted the proposal to City Clerk Liz Maland which reads in part:

“to amend Article II Section 10 of the City Charter to advance the top four candidates, instead of two, to the general election and adding a Section 10.5 to provide Ranked Choice Voting in the general election.”

Elected Officials Praise Ranked Choice Voting

In a time when our politics are so polarized and partisan, elected officials agree,Ranked Choice Voting will help remove some of that campaign vitriol and mudslinging.

Mark Kersey, who became an independent last year after leaving the Republican Party said,“It’s harder to run a really negative campaign when you also have to focus on getting people’s second-choice votes. This reform is something that is catching on around the nation as voters get increasingly sick of partisan bickering,”said Kersey.

 Congressman Scott Peters, who sees the national vitriol working in Washington D.C., agreed with Kersey that the switch would lead to “nicer,” more respectful campaigns.

“I think it’s time to end the ‘light-switch,’ binary system we have; this reform would force candidates to say something like ‘I know you like Jim; I just hope you’ll rank me second,’” said Peters.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Will this change our current top two primary ballot system?

A. In San Diego, the current nonpartisan primary system means the top two vote getters advance to the general election regardless of party affiliation. Under More Choice San Diego, instead of the top two candidates advancing, the top four candidates, regardless of party affiliation, would advance to the general election for City offices.

Q. In a general election, how would the mechanics work in ranking the four candidates?

A. In the San Diego More Choice General election, voters would rank all the candidates from 1 to 4, with 1 being the voters’ top choice. Everyone’s first choice is counted and, if no candidate reaches a 50% majority, the candidate who receives the fewest No. 1 votes is eliminated. Any voters who had picked that candidate for their No. 1 slot will instead have their No. 2 candidate counted as their top choice. This will continue until one of the candidates reaches a majority. The candidate with the most No. 1 votes is the winner.

Contact: [email protected]
Attn: Ed Chaplin


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