The Equal Vote Coalition is the driving force behind STAR Voting
Our mission is simple. Fight tirelessly for the Equal Vote.
Democracy is supposed to mean for the people by the people but full equality in elections has never existed. EVER! We are setting out to address this inequality and we are starting with the root of the problem. The voting system itself.
Who Are We:
The Equal Vote Coalition was first created in 2014 in Eugene, Oregon by Mark Frohnmayer. It's steadily grown to include a diverse network of members for a variety of backgrounds within the voting reform and election reform movements. The Equal Vote Coalition is non-partisan and includes longtime supporters and former and current advocates for other voting methods including from the Ranked Choice Voting movement as well as Score and Approval Voting movements. We believe that STAR Voting is the proposal that we need on a national level.
Equal Vote is actively working on growing our coalition and we'd love to have you. We are committed to doing broad outreach and are working to build a coalition of leaders that is more than the sum of its parts. We are particularly interested in getting more connected with community and citizen advocacy groups and in keeping our membership and leadership representative of the full spectrum of Oregonians. Forging a broad coalition is key to helping keep us on track so that we can grow a movement that can earn broad support, from Eugene and Portland all the way to rural Oregon and beyond. We all deserve equality and we all want to be fairly represented. In an era of unprecedented polarization this is something we can unite around.
The Eugene Chapter is directly partnered with it's sister chapter in Portland which ran a twin ballot initiative. We are also currently in coalition with the Portland chapter of Represent.Us.
STAR Voting ballot initiatives are organized and funded with campaign committees and are not under the not-for-profit. We are currently in the early stages of fundraising for out next round of reforms. Click here to make a donation to STAR Voting for Lane County and here to donate to STAR Voting for Multnomah County.
Endorsements for the STAR Voting initiatives by location:
(Titles are for identification only.)
NATIONAL AND STATEWIDE:
* Alliance For Democracy
* Progressive Party Of Oregon
* Progressive Oregon PAC, affiliate of Our Revolution
* Rosa Colquitt, PhD, Chair, Democratic Party of Oregon Black Caucus
* WA Berniecrats / Our Revolution Washington
* Jameson Quinn, Former Vice Chair at the Center for Election Science
* Clay Shentrup, Co-founder of Counted (Washington) and Co-founder of the Center for Election Science
* Eugene Springfield Solidarity Network
* Our Revolution Lane County
* Chris Edwards, former Oregon State Senator
* Joe Berney, Candidate Lane County Commission
* Mike Clark, Eugene City Councilor
* Betty Taylor, Eugene City Councilor
* Jennifer Yeh, Eugene City Councilor
* James Barber, Former candidate for East Lane County Commissioner
* Alan Zundel, political scientist and key participant in successful Benton County initiative for Ranked Choice Voting
* Mark Frohnmayer, Founder of the Equal Vote Coalition, Arcimoto
Keith Appleby, Mel Barber, Tom Bowerman, Bob Cassidy, Rick Dancer, Ruth Duemler, Nicholas Engel, Len Hockley, Jane & Stefan Kwiatkowskis, James Yuki McQuire, Jordan Pape, Hallie Roberts, Stephen Robinson, Carol Scherer, Chenoa Skaggs, Jacob Strandlien, Joy Thomson, Arun N. Toké, Marianne Zundel
* Bernie PDX/Our Revolution PDX
* Represent.Portland, affiliate of Represent.Us
* Portland chapter of RCV-OR.**
* City Repair
* King Neighborhood Association
* Foster-Powell Neighborhood Association
* Mark Lakeman, founding member of City Repair and the Village Building Convergence
* Julia DeGraw, community organizer and former candidate for PDX City Council
* Rosa Colquitt, PhD, Chair, Democratic Party of Oregon Black Caucus
Erin Bear, Jonathan Bright, Maryellen Cooke, James Davis, Emily Dempsey, Douglas Estudillo, Jeffrey Flynn, Ryan Hassan, Mont Chris Hubbard, Sean McClintock, Julia Rose, Lin Tucker, Sara Wolk, Adam Zielinski
* James Barber
* Jim Cupples
* Lonnie Douglas
* Kris MacAlister
* Deborah Simplier
* Nora Kent
* Kevin Matthews
* Chris Henry, Oregon Progressive Party 2018 gubernatorial candidate
* Thomas A. Brown
PLEASANT HILL, OR:
* Elin England
* Don Schneider
* Dalton Zerlan
OREGON CITY, OR:
* Aaron Wolf, Oregon City
* Laura E. Stine
STATE OF WASHINGTON:
* Courtney N. Love
* Rhonda Walker
We want your name here too!
Please email email@example.com to endorse STAR Voting for Lane County or the movement for STAR Voting in general.
Arguments in favor of STAR Voting:
* "I support any effort to decrease power politics and increase the voice of the people, which this is designed to do." - Joe Berney
* "I encourage you to vote FOR STAR Voting, a system where leaders who bring people together have the electoral advantage." - Jordan Pape
* "I believe STAR voting may address two critical problems in our voting system: the elimination of the third candidate spoiler effect; and improving confidence that each of us can express our true preference without remorse and fear of wasting the vote." - Tom Bowerman
* "If you want action on the issues that you and most Oregonians care about most, I encourage you to vote for an upgrade to the STAR Voting system." - Chris Edwards
* "STAR Voting is simple. It always elects the majority favorite between the two highest rated candidates in every race in which it is used." - Clay Shentrup
* “As a mathematician, I am deeply impressed by STAR Voting's ability to incentivize honest voting. It will be a powerful force in dissolving the stranglehold that the current 2-party system has on our political landscape, and I for one am ecstatic about that more representative future.” -Emily Dempsey, Portland-based mathematician and computer scientist
* "I support STAR Voting because it creates a more level playing field for candidates and will respect the will of the voters." -Julia DeGraw, community organizer and former candidate for PDX City Council
* "Of the dozens of voting methods I know about, STAR Voting is one of the very best for single-winner political elections." and "[STAR Voting] is undeniably a top-shelf election method, and arguably the best out of all the ones I tested." -Jameson Quinn, Vice-Chair and Director at the Center For Election Science and statistics Ph.D. candidate at Harvard University where his research focuses on voting systems
* I encourage you to try STAR Voting for yourself by creating a poll or trying an existing one at http://star.vote - whether you are deciding where to go to lunch or who should make our most critical civic decisions, STAR Voting will get the job done." - Mark Frohnmayer, founder of the Equal Vote Coalition and founder of Arcimoto
* “I love the ability of STAR Voting to express a preference for multiple candidates. I don’t have to think about who has the most money or worry if voting for my favorite candidate will split the vote." -James Barbur
* “Until voters can vote their conscience it's not a democracy!” - Sara Wolk
* “STAR Voting is the first step in giving the power of government back to the people and out of the hands of lobbying interests.” - Ryan Hassan
* “Choosing between the "lesser-of-two-evils" is no longer satisfactory for a nation as diverse - in culture, as well as landscape - as The United States.” - Dalton Zerlan
* “I endorse STAR voting because I believe the two-party system is corrupt and a threat to our democracy.” - Mont Chris Hubbard
If you or your group would like to submit a statement in support please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Words of Encouragement from groups which haven't endorsed yet:
* "[We] think STAR voting is worth testing – we think it’s an interesting approach." and "we support [STAR] getting some actual election experience." -Sightline Institute
* "I don't see bullet voting as a strategic incentive with STAR voting." and "FairVote is neutral on STAR voting in governmental elections" -Rob Richie of FairVote, the group advocating for Ranked Choice Voting
History of the Eugene Equal Vote chapter
The Equal Vote Coalition was first envisioned in 2007 in Eugene, Oregon by Mark Frohnmayer. In 2014 Equal Vote ran a ballot initiative to implement the Unified Primary, a groundbreaking proposal which included a non-partisan primary using Approval Voting and a Top-2 general election. That reform went further than any previous proposals in Oregon, but it didn't go far enough for many and it ultimately fell short of the required signatures to make the ballot. Still, the reform did serve as a catalyst for change and it did spark a new wave of discussion and feedback around voting reform in general.
The campaign hosted an Equal Vote Conference at The University of Oregon with a number of leading election reform groups from around the country represented. At that conference, a conversation between founding members of the groups advocating for three leading voting methods sparked the idea for STAR Voting, which is essentially a hybrid between Score Voting and Instant Runoff Voting.
In 2017 The Eugene chapter launched the STAR Voting for Lane County Campaign. After submitting the required 11,500 verified signatures the initiative was approved for the 2018 November 6th ballot! If passed Lane County will be the pilot project and model for STAR Voting reforms around the country, and it will be the first time that a voting method anywhere in the world has offered the electorate a perfectly equally weighted vote!
** History of the Equal Vote PDX chapter
RCV-OR is the group which successfully passed RCV in Benton County in 2016. Notably, the founder of that group and a key participant for that ballot initiative, Alan Zundel is currently a Chief Petitioner for our "STAR Voting for Lane County" initiative.
RCV Oregon's Portland Chapter started meeting Nov. '16 after the presidential election and many were surprised to find that the group was initially quite split between advocates for a number of voting systems. From the beginning, the unanimous goal was a ballot initiative for voting reform. All participants agreed that any of the alternative voting systems suggested would be an improvement, but it was clear that the group needed to do more homework and determine which reform was best. Of course it was critical to build consensus and determine which proposal had the passionate support needed to take a voting reform from the drawing board, and put it successfully in the county charter. The plan was to work together to make a collective decision early in the game so that the various camps could avoid running competing initiatives and getting in each others way.
There was a 4 month process with over a hundred people actively meeting regularly and engaging across a number of forums and thousands more following our progress. Getting educated and debating the issues was a priority, and once the population felt confident that they could make an educated decision, a vote was scheduled a month out. In April 2017 RCV OR hosted a public meeting to decide on a voting system to take to ballot initiative.
In the days leading up to the vote, a few founding members of the chapter who still were advocating for RCV announced via email blast that RCV-PDX had decided to continue working on Ranked Choice Voting and that they wouldn't be voting. Many people found it to be misleading and confusing to use the name RCV-PDX and to then announce a decision made as if it was a larger group decision, when in fact the much larger group had been very consistent and clear on wanting to hold an inclusive, democratic, and transparent process. The move was referred to as an unsuccessful coup. RCV-PDX is not affiliated with the statewide group RCV-OR.
Another email went out confirming that the vote and general meeting were still happening, and fortunately the meeting was still well attended. STAR Voting won that vote by a significant margin enough margin that even if the splinter group's members had attended, STAR would still have won. (STAR was called SRV or Score Runoff Voting at the time.) At the general meeting it was also decided that the group would still be supportive of RCV where it's been passed already and that RCV is a better choice than Plurality Voting, but that RCV would not be the goal for new initiatives. At the end, a new steering committee was appointed by consensus.
In order to prevent confusion between RCV-OR and the splinter group RCV-PDX some name changes were needed. The appointed steering committee of the local Portland chapter of RCV-OR voted in May '17 to join the Equal Vote Coalition and adopted the name Equal Vote-PDX which they have been using ever since. The chapter continues to operate under the Equal Vote name and umbrella with the same membership as always.
On March 25th 2018 the Portland chapter of the national organization Represent.Us met with the Equal Vote PDX Chapter and voted to coalition and merge so that the two groups could function as one. The chapter was instrumental in launching the "STAR Voting for Multnomah County" ballot initiative, which was met with broad support in the local movement. Due to a shortage of funding, it didn't make the ballot, but the movement is ongoing and plans to continue organizing around implementing STAR Voting in the next cycle.