October 10, 2021
This quarter’s update has a lot of ground to cover. While the Texas Legislature is now in its third Special Session since the Regular Session ended at the end of May, there has not been an opportunity to include ranked choice voting in the discussions.
We now turn our focus to the 2023 session as we continue to promote the adoption of Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) for elections in Texas to help ensure broad voter support for winning candidates; save Texas election administrators, candidates, and citizens time and money; and improve the Texas voting experience by reducing negative campaigning and making voters feel their vote matters.
RCV for Texas Campaign Update:
We have two major initiatives to pursue between now and the 2023 Session:
- Continue to build our supporter network. We want more Texans to become knowledgeable about RCV, share that information with people they know, and be ready to contact their legislators in support of bills to be introduced in the 2023 Texas Legislative Session. This initiative includes starting local chapters around Texas where we can identify a critical mass of supporters. So far there is interest in Houston and Dallas/Metroplex, so supporters there who provided home addresses when they signed up on our website will becontacted shortly. Let us know if you would like to start or join a chapter where you live.
- Hire a well-connected lobbyist to work with us to develop and help execute a legislative strategy for 2023.
- Visit our volunteer page to tell us what you would like to do.
Spread the word:
Join a phone bank to welcome people who have signed up on our website and
find out how they might want to volunteer.
- Reach out to your social media network and post support for RCV with a link to
our website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or LinkedIn pages. You can also
share our posts with your followers.
- Join a phone bank to welcome people who have signed up on our website and
- Ask the head of any organization you belong to to pass along information about
RCV to their members. We are looking for both organizations and their members
to support RCV.
Host an in-person or online event where you or another volunteer presents about
- Submit a letter to the editor of your local newspaper about the benefits of RCV.
Behind the scenes:
- Share your communication, fundraising, graphics, or technology skills with us on a specific project.
- Make a one-time or recurring donation. You can now designate your donation for Education & Outreach (tax-exempt) or for Legislative Advocacy (not tax-exempt).
- Help raise money to support our efforts.
RCV in the News:
- New York City used RCV in primary elections in June. Despite errors made by the Board of Elections and much misleading media reporting, this major use of RCV was a success: 95% of voters found their ballot simple to complete and 78% of New Yorkers said they understood RCV extremely or very well, with little variability across ethnic groups. Turnout was at a record high. While the first ballot plurality winner won when all RCV rounds were counted, now a majority of voters feel they contributed to his win.
- The July runoff for the Texas 6th Congressional District provided a great example of why we need RCV. The original field of 23 candidates who ran in the Special Election on May 1st was winnowed down to the top two for a runoff even though between them they received a total of 33% of the votes. Turnout in July fell to half as many as voted in May, so the winner achieved a majority but certainly not broad voter support.
- In 2018, the Utah legislature approved a bill to allow counties to choose to adopt RCV. This year 23 cities chose to forgo the primary in August and use RCV in the general election in November. They say it is worth trying due to cost savings and potentially getting more people to weigh into municipal elections. Voters like that they can avoid the problem of choosing between the lesser of two evils since RCV allows them to vote their conscience versus voting strategically and that gets them more engaged.
- On October 6th, Senator Bennet (CO-D), Senator King (ME-I) and Representative Phillips (MN-D) announced the introduction of the Voter Choice Act, legislation that would make it easier for communities to embrace RCV across the country. If passed, it would provide states and cities with up to $40 million in federal grants to cover up to 50% of the costs of adopting RCV. Please reach out to your Senators and Representative to urge them to support this legislation.
Follow us on social media for key updates as they happen.
We appreciate the efforts of our current volunteers. Please let us know how you would like to help. Email us at [email protected]
Thanks for your support!