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Full Charter Amendment

"STAR Voting for Lane County"

 

CHAPTER VI
ELECTIONS

Section 27. NOMINATION AND ELECTION OF COUNTY OFFICERS. Except as this charter provides to the contrary, the manner of nominating and electing candidates for elective county offices shall be the manner now or hereafter prescribed by the laws of the state for the conduct of nonpartisan nominations and elections.

(1) No petition, declaration, or ballot for an elective county office shall make reference to any political party ballot or to a political party affiliation or designation.
(2) Election of county officers under this Section shall be held at the November general election according to “STAR (Score Then Automatic Runoff) Voting” as described in subsection (5) of this section.
(3) A ballot shall be delivered to each registered elector, regardless of party affiliation.
(4) The ballot shall direct the elector to score each candidate appearing on the ballot on a scale of zero to five, with zero being the lowest score possible and five being the highest score possible. If an elector leaves a candidate’s score blank, the elector’s score for that candidate shall be counted as zero. The ballot shall inform the elector of how votes will be tallied under subsection (5) of this section.
(5) Votes cast shall be tallied according to STAR (Score Then Automatic Runoff) Voting, as follows:
(a) For each office for which a candidate appears on the ballot, the vote tally system shall calculate the sum total of the scores received by each candidate and then determine the two candidates who received the greatest total scores.
(b) Of the two candidates identified under subsection (5)(a) of this section, the vote tally system shall determine in whose favor each elector’s ballot was cast, as follows: Each elector’s ballot shall be considered cast in favor of the candidate who received the greater score, but if an elector gave both candidates the same score, the elector’s ballot shall not be considered in favor of either candidate.
(c) The candidate in whose favor a greater number of ballots were cast as determined under subsection (5)(b) of this section shall be deemed the candidate who received the highest number of votes cast and therefore elected, including for purposes of election of County Commissioners under section 10(3)(b) of this charter.
(6) The County Commissioners shall, by ordinance, establish rules necessary for the orderly administration of the election using Score Runoff Voting as described in subsection (5) of this section. Such rules shall provide for the determination of the prevailing candidate in cases of a tie-vote at any stage of STAR (Score Then Automatic Runoff) Voting.

 

 

Ballot Title

"STAR Voting for Multnomah County"

 

MultCoInit-07

Caption (10/10 words)
Amends charter: county officer primary election eliminated; scored officer elections.


Question (20/20 words)
Should charter be amended for county officers eliminating primary election, requiring general election using “Score Then Automatic Runoff” (“STAR”) voting?


Summary (175/175 words)
Under current Charter, candidates for county offices appear on the primary election ballot. If a candidate receives a majority of votes, that candidate is elected. Otherwise, the two candidates with the most votes appear on the general election ballot. The amendment eliminates primary elections for county officers, instead requiring “Score Then Automatic Runoff” (“STAR”) voting at the November general election, where voters score each candidate on a zero (lowest) to five (highest) scale. Ballots would explain vote tallying: (1) determine which two candidates received the greatest sum total of scores for a position; (2) for those two candidates, determine in whose favor each ballot was cast (automatic runoff). A ballot is cast in favor of the candidate the elector gave the greater score; if an elector gave the candidates the same score, the ballot benefits neither candidate. The candidate in whose favor the greatest number of ballots were cast in the automatic runoff is elected, and deemed to receive a majority of votes when filling vacancies. The amendment includes Board authority to establish rules for voting administration.

Explanatory Statement (417/500 words)
Under the current Charter, all candidates for county elective offices (Chair of the Board, Commissioners, Auditor, and Sheriff) appear on the primary election ballot, and if a candidate receives a majority of votes cast for a position, that candidate is elected. If no candidate receives a majority of votes cast for the position, the two candidates who received the highest number of votes appear on the general election ballot.


The amendment would eliminate the primary election for county elective offices. County officers would instead be elected at the November general election using “Score Then Automatic Runoff” (“STAR”) voting. Under that system, all candidates for an office appear on the ballot, and voters score each candidate on a zero (lowest) to five (highest) scale. The system uses scoring, rather than ranking, which means a voter can give the same score to more than one  candidate for the same office. If an elector leaves a candidate’s score blank, the elector’s score for that candidate will be zero.


The method for tallying votes would be explained on the ballot. Votes would be tallied as follows: (1) for each office on the ballot, determine which two candidates received the greatest sum total of scores for the position; (2) for those two candidates, determine in whose favor each ballot was cast (automatic runoff). For purposes of the automatic runoff, an elector’s ballot is considered cast in favor of the candidate the elector gave the greater score; if an elector gave the two candidates the same score, the ballot is not considered in favor of either candidate. As between the final two candidates, the candidate in whose favor the greatest number of ballots were cast as determined by the automatic runoff vote tally is elected, and deemed the candidate receiving a majority of votes cast when filling vacancies under Section 4.50 of the Charter. Under that Section, a vacancy is filled by election only if the term of office expires one year or more after the vacancy occurs.


The amendment requires the Multnomah County Board of Commissioners, by ordinance, to establish rules for the orderly administration of the new “STAR” (“Score Then Automatic Runoff”) voting system, and requires the Board to prescribe how a tie-vote will be resolved at any stage of the “STAR” (“Score Then Automatic Runoff”) vote tally. Current Charter Section 11.20 requires tie votes for candidates for county elective office to be resolved through public drawing of lots in a manner prescribed by the Board. The amendment does not change that provision.

 

The Ballot Title above is based on the legal charter amendment that Equal Vote submitted to Multnomah County. This amendment has passed the county's legal and constitutional review process.

 

Full Charter Amendment

"STAR Voting for Multnomah County"

 

CHAPTER XI. ELECTIONS

11.15. Election Of Officers.

(1) All elective county offices shall be nonpartisan.
(2) The manner of nominating and electing officers shall be the same as that established by state law for nominating and electing circuit court judges, except as this charter provides to the contrary. Election of county officers under this Section shall be held at the November general election according to “STAR (Score Then Automatic Runoff) Voting” as described in subsection (5) of this section.
(3) Petitions or declarations of candidacy shall contain no reference to any political party ballot or to the political party affiliation of the candidate.
(4) The names of all candidates shall appear on the election ballot. The ballot shall direct the elector to score each candidate appearing on the ballot on a scale of zero to five, with zero being the lowest score possible and five being the highest score possible. If an elector leaves a candidate’s score blank, the elector’s score for that candidate shall be counted as zero. The ballot shall inform the elector of how votes will be tallied under subsection (5) of this section.
(5) Votes cast shall be tallied according to STAR (Score Then Automatic Runoff) Voting, as follows:
(a) For each office for which a candidate appears on the ballot, the vote tally system shall calculate the sum total of the scores received by each candidate and then determine the two candidates who received the greatest total scores.
(b) Of the two candidates identified under subsection (5)(a) of this section, the vote tally system shall determine in whose favor each elector’s ballot was cast, as follows: Each elector’s ballot shall be considered cast in favor of the candidate who received the greater score, but if an elector gave both candidates the same score, the elector’s ballot shall not be considered in favor of either candidate.
(c) The candidate in whose favor a greater number of ballots were cast as determined under subsection (5)(b) of this section shall be elected and, for purposes of section 4.50 of this charter, shall be deemed the candidate who received a majority of votes cast.
(6) The County Commissioners shall, by ordinance, establish rules necessary for the orderly administration of the election using Score Runoff Voting as described in subsection (5) of this section. Such rules shall provide for the determination of the prevailing candidate in cases of a tie-vote at any stage of STAR (Score Then Automatic Runoff) Voting.

 

 

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