Ranked Choice Voting - What Do You Think?
Updated: Sep 6
On Saturday, August 21, we found out that the DC Democrats Rank Choice Voting Subcommittee would be hosting a members-only listening session on Tuesday night, August 24. That morning, we found out it would be our FINAL chance to share our thoughts and opinions about the proposed Voter Ownership, Integrity, Choice, and Equity (VOICE) Act, and the District's adoption of Ranked Choice Voting for future elections, with the state party. Each speaker was given two minutes to share her or his position.
With the assistance of our officers, Ward 6 Democrats President Elizabeth Engel prepared the following statement and delivered it on Tuesday night:
Although I am personally in favor of the VOICE Act, as the chair of the Ward 6 Democrats, my responsibility extends beyond my own opinion – I’m responsible to represent and give a voice to the Democrats in my Ward.
My biggest concern is that I feel like this process is being rushed.
I am aware that the Council is planning to vote on the VOICE Act in October, and I appreciate the fact that the Council has turned to the state party for direction and that the state party has turned to the Ward organizations, but we found out about that request not even three weeks ago and here we are, already at our final opportunity to offer feedback.
The Ward 6 officers – who were only elected five weeks ago – scrambled to put on a “pro and con” educational session for our members, which we hosted not even a week ago and immediately posted to our website for those who were unable to attend live, but we haven’t had time to collect feedback from our members or even have an organized discussion among the officers.
Unfortunately, at this point, I cannot speak for my Ward with any degree of confidence.
I would strongly recommend allowing additional time for the Ward-level Democratic organizations to educate our members about the impact of Ranked Choice Voting on our local elections, engage directly with our Council Members, and solicit feedback and input from our members so we can accurately reflect their perspectives.”
The DC Democrats will be voting on a resolution about whether or not to support the VOICE Act at their September 2 general body meeting.
Link to the actual VOICE Act legislation: https://lims.dccouncil.us/Legislation/B24-0372
Watch our August 19 educational salon on Ranked Choice Voting: https://www.ward6dems.org/post/watch-8-19-ranked-choice-voting-salon
The DC Democrats have provided a brief overview, including the high-level arguments for and against:
Link to the full presentation from the Rank Choice subcommittee of the DC Democrats.
Because the state party has already closed their comment period, if you would like to share your thoughts, pro or con, on Ranked Choice Voting, your most effective course of action at this point would be to contact our Council Member, Charles Allen (firstname.lastname@example.org) and/or his Legislative Director, Chris Laskowski (email@example.com).