Measure Aims To Overhaul American Election System, Starting With Benton County

Oct 26, 2016

Election Day gripes have included, “I’m voting for the lesser of two evils” or “I’m only voting for this candidate to keep the other out of office.”  But as KLCC’s Brian Bull reports, a local ballot measure aims to fix this.  

Blair Bobier (left), ranked choice voting advocate, argues the 2000 Bush-Gore contest could've gone differently under his preferred election model.
Credit Brian Bull, National Archives, COP Paris

Blair Bobier is one of the chief petitioners for Ballot Measure 2-100, which goes before Benton County voters this November.  Bobier says this would create “ranked choice” voting, which gives people more options and power than the current system. 

“People get to rank their candidates in order of preference instead of voting for just one candidate, you vote for your first preference, your second preference, your third preference," he explains.  "It means that you never have to choose between voting for the lesser of two evils or throwing your vote away on a candidate that you support but has no realistic chance of winning.” 

Bobier says had ranked choice voting been used in the 2000 presidential race between Al Gore and George W. Bush, Gore would’ve won because Ralph Nader supporters most likely had Gore as their second choice. 

As to what ranked choice proponents want to do should Benton County Measure 2-100 pass? 

"We’ll be asking the state of Oregon to fund implementation of the ranked choice voting because we see this basically as a pilot program for the rest of the state.” 

Backers say implementation could cost up to $200,000.