|PO Box 128, Sacramento, CA 95812
Voice for Democracy
Newsletter of Californians for Electoral Reform
In This Issue
I want to cover three topics in this President's letter: the Annual General Meeting last May, the proposal to elect the President by popular vote, and the campaigns this November.
We had a very successful Annual General Meeting May 20th. Our keynote speaker was Assembly Member Joe Canciamilla, one of the coauthors of ACA 28, the California Citizens Assembly Constitutional Amendment. Read the full letter here.
This fall CfER members are campaigning for not one, but two ballot measures. A charter amendment to introduce IRV for all city elections is on the ballot in Oakland. An advisory measure in Davis would instruct the city council to consider choice voting for that city's at-large council.
Nationwide, the frequency of adoption campaigns is increasing. The Davis and Oakland campaigns join two others outside California -- Minneapolis, Minnesota and Pierce County, Washington -- on the November 7 ballot. Read this article about the campaigns.
IRV is usually thought of as the best way to choose among candidates to fill an office. Now interest in using IRV for ballot measures is also starting to grow.
In January of this year, the Los Osos Community Services District in San Luis Obispo County decided to use IRV in future votes to choose among sites for wastewater treatment facilities -- an issue that can and sometimes does involve presenting more than two options to the voters. After the district's voters mandated that new sites be approved by a majority vote in September 2005, district resident Norman Risch successfully argued for IRV. Now CfER member Preston Jordan is hoping that the city of Albany in Alameda County will take the same approach to a major land use decision. Read his report here.
On September 30, Governor Schwarzenegger vetoed AB 2948, which would have made California the first state to approve an interstate compact that would insure that the winner of the national popular vote becomes President. CfER supported this bill. Its sponsor, Assembly Member Tom Umberg (D-69), said, "To paraphrase the Governor, 'We'll be back', and will take the issue to the people by initiative if necessary." CfER Executive Vice President Rob Dickinson develops the case for this approach in this article.
With help from several CfER activists, Sacramento's C. K. McClatchy Senior High School adopted ranked voting for its Spring 2006 student government elections. The process was much easier than expected, which bodes well for other California high school student governments to adopt IRV and choice voting. Pete Martineau has a full report here.
In interviews conducted for the California Channel's Free Airtime Project, CfER board member Paula Lee asked five of the six candidates for Secretary of State, "Most of the certified voting equipment is not compatible with ranking ballots in counties where voters have passed measures such as instant runoff voting. Many county election officials would like to see guidelines from the state for implementing ranked voting. What would you do as Secretary of State to address these issues?" Read their answers here.
Editor. Your not-so-intrepid newsletter editor needs help with
copyediting, rewrite and some research. Basic
knowledge of Microsoft Word required; web research skills (Google) very helpful.
Contact Bob Richard at (415) 256-9393 or email .
for Electoral Reform (CfER) is a statewide citizens' group promoting
election reforms that ensure that our government fairly represents the
voters. We are a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization with members from
across the political spectrum. Since our founding in May of 1993, our
numbers have grown from about two dozen to hundreds of members
participating in local chapters across California.
ELECTORAL SYSTEM IS IMPORTANT
method by which we vote has dramatic consequences, and nearly one third of the
state's electorate consistently goes without a representative that speaks for
them in Sacramento. The choice of electoral system can determine whether there
will be "spoilers" or vote-splitting effects, majority sweeps of
representation on city councils, or pervasive negative campaigning. The choice
of electoral system determines whether minority perspectives or racial and
ethnic minority groups receive fair representation or get shut out of the
IS THE LEADING ADVOCACY GROUP FOR THESE REFORMS IN CALIFORNIA
works for legislation that would allow cities and counties to adopt voting
methods that allow people to rank their preferences when they vote.
CfER also works with activists in its local chapters to enact fair
election methods in cities and counties across the state.
more information about CfER, please visit
CfER was established by citizens like you who think that our government should be representative of the people. A lot of progress is already being made, but the future depends on you.
To join CfER, or renew your membership, please visit
To find a CfER chapter coordinator in your area, please visit
We will soon be able to accept contributions on our website. Meanwhile, checks payable to "Californians for Electoral Reform" or "CfER" can be mailed to the address below.
for Democracy is published by
Californians for Electoral Reform
P.O. Box 128
Sacramento, CA 95812
Contents copyright © 2006 by Californians for Electoral Reform. Signed articles are the responsibility of their authors and do not necessarily reflect the positions of Californians for Electoral Reform.