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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

February 19, 2009 at 4:27 PM

Pierce County voting system

Ranked choice rakes in confusion and costs

Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) creates confusion, misinformation and disenfranchisement [“Save ranked-choice vote,” Editorial, Feb. 16]. And, it saves neither money nor time.

Having many candidates for each office creates confusion. Most voters don’t have time to research multiple candidates or become properly informed of the experience and plans of so many candidates.

Misinformation, or lack of information, from the media makes the job of voters more difficult. The lack of substantive reporting by any media outlet during elections is appalling. Often, newspapers report, if anything, insignificant details about candidates’ positions or comments. TV and radio stations didn’t even cover Pierce County.

Many voters were disenfranchised by the fact that they didn’t know enough about all the candidates. For example, more than 30,000 voters didn’t mark a second or third choice for the county executive race. In other words, voters who marked a second and third choice decided the election over those who didn’t know enough to make an informed choice. The executive race was decided by just over 4,000 votes.

Finally, RCV doesn’t save anything. Pierce County had a primary without county offices. Also, Pierce County’s ballot was separate, doubling everything, including printing, counting and labor costs. Huge software costs to calculate RCV were incurred too.

Ranked Choice Voting doesn’t work!

— Stephen Neufeld, Steilacoom

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