With the new system, said one supporter, “candidates will have to knock on the door of not just a certain plurality, but on the diverse doors of NYC’s mosaic majority.”
Voting rights advocates celebrated a “huge win for democracy” Tuesday after New Yorkers approved a ballot measure that would establish ranked-choice voting in the nation’s most populous city.
“It’s been too easy for candidates to ignore marginalized communities, including LGBTQ voters, because they didn’t think they needed every vote to win. Ranked-choice voting ends that mindset.”
—Rod Townsend, Stonewall Democratic Club of NYC
With 90% reporting as of Wednesday morning, New York City’s Ballot Question 1 won approval from 73.5% of voters.
NYC’s ranked-choice voting (RCV) measure was supported by a number of advocacy groups, politicians, and even The New York Times editorial board, which called the question the “most exciting proposal” of the five measures considered by city voters Tuesday.
In an RCV system—also known as an instant runoff voting system—voters rank candidates for each office in order of preference on their ballots. If no candidate secures a majority of first-choice votes, an elimination process is triggered and continues until one candidate has majority support.
HUGE win for RCV in NYC.
The momentum continues.
This whole ranked-choice voting thing is really catching on. pic.twitter.com/CSrmqsw2tL
— Lee Drutman (@leedrutman) November 6, 2019
In addition to establishing RCV in primary and special elections for all local offices beginning in 2021, the ballot measure will “increase the time between a city office vacancy and the special election to fill it from 45 days (60 for mayor) to 80 days” and “change the timeline for city council redistricting to complete it prior to city council nominating petition signature collection.”
Celebrating the ballot measure’s passage on Tuesday night, Common Cause NY executive director Susan Lerner said that RCV “is the simple solution that puts power back in the hands of the people where it belongs. We look forward to working with our diverse partners and elected officials to educate New Yorkers on how this important reform will work in the local 2021 elections and beyond.”
The RCV provision garnered support from New Yorkers and national advocates alike. Backers included Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.)—a widely popular freshman congresswoman who represents parts of the Bronx and Queens—2020 Democratic presidential primary candidate and city resident Andrew Yang, Rep. Nydia Velasquez (D-N.Y.), state Attorney General Letitia James, Democratic state Sen. Julia Salazar, NYC Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, and actor, activist, and city resident Cynthia Nixon.
Thanks for voting #Yeson1, @CynthiaNixon! 🎊 #RankedChoiceVoting reforms NYC’s outdated election system and forces politicians to pay attention to every community. Vote #YesOn1 before 9 pm TODAY to bring RCV to NYC. Find your poll site: https://t.co/UM2LKAPmg7 pic.twitter.com/9l7Fr5mHQD
— Rank The Vote NYC (@RankTheVoteNYC) November 6, 2019
The advocacy group FairVote, which fights for fair elections and supports RCV, declared on Twitter: “This is huge for the #RankedChoiceVoting movement!”
This is huge for the #RankedChoiceVoting movement! “New York City has become the latest — and most populous — city to adopt ranked-choice voting, a major milestone for voting reform efforts.” https://t.co/Q7iE8pj32R
— FairVote (@fairvote) November 6, 2019
Supporters of an RCV system argue that it pushes candidates to focus on engaging voters rather than negative campaigning. FairVote president Rob Richie told Politico, “You’ve got to be, I think, a better candidate.”
“You as a candidate have a lot more reasons to have conversations and engagements with people,” he said. “The candidates that run traditional campaigns that involve using money and not using people have not done as well.”
Rod Townsend, president of the Stonewall Democratic Club of NYC, said in statement ahead of the vote Tuesday that “it’s been too easy for candidates to ignore marginalized communities, including LGBTQ voters, because they didn’t think they needed every vote to win. Ranked-choice voting ends that mindset because with RCV, every vote matters.”
“With ranked-choice voting, marginalized communities will be engaged by every candidate,” Townsend added. “Candidates will have to knock on the door of not just a certain plurality, but on the diverse doors of NYC’s mosaic majority.”
War criminal pardoned by Trump puts active-duty Navy SEALs in danger with video labeling them as ‘cowards’
In a video posted to his Facebook and Instagram pages, convicted war criminal and retired Navy SEAL Edward Gallagher slammed his former platoon members who accused him of killing civilians, calling them "cowards."
In the video, Gallagher highlights the names, photos, duty status, and current units of his former SEAL team members -- some of whom are still on active duty, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. According to some former SEALs speaking to the Tribune, Gallagher's actions could put those he exposed in danger.
‘Stay out of the way’: Fox News sources say Justice Roberts will let GOPers win tie votes on witnesses
Chief Justice John Roberts is expected not to weigh in heavily during the question and answer phase of the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump.
As the trial moves to the new phase on Wednesday, Roberts has the option of "inserting himself" into the process to rule on questions or other matters, according to Fox News correspondent Chad Pergram.
But sources told the Fox News reporter that Roberts will follow the model of former Chief Justice William Rehnquist who presided over President Bill Clinton's impeachment trial in 1999.
Under the Senate rules, measures that do not receive a majority of votes fail. So if a Senate vote of witnesses was tied 50-50, the measure would not pass. Roberts could choose to break the tie but he is not expected to do so.
Ex-Trump chief of staff John Kelly: ‘I believe’ John Bolton and the Senate ‘should hear’ from him
John Kelly, a former chief of staff to President Donald Trump, told a crowd in Sarasota, Florida on Tuesday that he believes former national security adviser John Bolton's claim that Trump directly linked releasing military aid to Ukraine with launching investigations into former Vice President Joe Biden.
The Sarasota Herald-Tribune reports that Kelly told an audience at a Ringling College Library Association Town Hall lecture that Bolton is a reliable source and should be heard out if reporting about his upcoming book is accurate.