Lane County, OR Voter's Guide for Nov. 6th Election, 2018
Measure 20-290 Lane County: Amends charter, adopts “Score, Then Automatic Runoff” voting for elections.
Arguments in favor: 9
Arguments opposed: 0
Argument in Favor
I’ve been a voting theorist for over 20 years. I’ve designed a voting method used by the Hugo awards, served as a board member for the Center for Election Science, and done voting research at my Harvard doctoral program. Of the dozens of voting methods I know about, STAR Voting is one of the very best for single-winner political elections.
No method is perfect, but STAR does an excellent job of balancing simplicity for voters, resistance to strategy, and excellent outcomes. When I simulated millions of elections using a sophisticated model of how voters cluster ideologically, none of the more than a dozen other methods I tested could beat STAR– none regularly produced election winners that satisfied the simulated voters more.
Mathematicians have proven that in any democratic system there are cases where some voters might get an advantage by strategizing based on how they expect others to vote. But in STAR Voting simulations, these cases were rare and minor compared to other methods, particularly our current “choose-one” system, but also other contemporary reforms based on ranking. That is to say, STAR allows voters to be honest about whom they like, and by how much. If you like a minor candidate, you won’t be forced to choose only a “lesser evil” out of fear, and if you like a major candidate, you won’t lose just because a similar candidate splits the vote.
STAR is also practical. Because it allows votes to be tallied at the precinct level, with only overall tallies transmitted to a central location, it is easy to audit or recount by hand if necessary, giving added confidence that election results are accurate.
Voting reformers have shown that when votes really count, more people vote and are satisfied with the outcome. STAR Voting is the next step on that path, and Lane County, Oregon is leading the way. Please support STAR Voting’s adoption in Lane County by voting YES on Measure 20-290.
(This information furnished by Jameson Quinn.)
Argument in Favor
STAR Voting does a great job at accomplishing the goals of Progressive Oregon. It’s honesty is the best strategy. Strategic voting is not incentivized. It’s accurate, no matter how many candidates/parties are in the race. No parties, candidates, or voters are excluded, every vote has an equally weighted vote.
STAR Voting doesn't give anyone an unfair advantage. Even if your favorite can’t win, your vote helps prevent your worst case scenario. It’s Constitutional, secure, and precinct summable and likely to end two party domination.
Progressive Oregon endorse a yes vote on Measure 20-290.
(This information furnished by Dan Jensen, Chair, Progressive Oregon.)
Argument in Favor
I encourage you to support STAR Voting for Lane County Officers
We have a unique opportunity to improve our voting processes, starting here, in Lane County.
Score Then Automatic Runoff “STAR Voting” is designed to elect leaders that unite us, rather than divide us.
We all read the headlines, bearing witness to a partisan election system that encourages candidates to adopt divisive platforms in order to win in their primary races. Unfortunately, many politicians that make it through this process are not in a position to constructively work together once elected. They have simply made too many promises at the fringes to work effectively across party lines.
The STAR Voting method is designed to favor candidates that appeal to the broadest range of voters. Its major benefit, once we grow to trust this new process, is the ability to expand STAR Voting for use in all elections – opening a path for candidates to more effectively compete for the political center from the beginning of their campaigns through to election day.
Meanwhile, STAR Voting will allow us to save money, once it is up and running, because it is a more efficient election process.
I encourage you to vote FOR STAR Voting, a system where leaders who bring people together have the electoral advantage.
R. Jordan Papé
(This information furnished by R. Jordan Papé.)
Argument in Favor
STAR Voting is simple. It always elects the majority favorite between the two highest rated candidates in every race in which it is used.
In STAR, voters rate candidates on a scale from zero (no support) to five (full support). In order to make it to the top two highest rated, a candidate must have excellent breadth as well of depth of appeal. And the automatic runoff ensures the winner gets a majority mandate.
In our current system, extremists can sneak through by exploiting a crowded field of candidates, because voters are limited to supporting only one, and the candidate who best embodies the majority opinion can lose if too many similar opponents split the vote. Voters often experience this as a tension between supporting their true favorite versus casting a strategic vote for a more electable “lesser evil.”
STAR Voting fundamentally eliminates this vote-splitting “spoiler” effect by letting voters express their true preferences. STAR is rooted in the idea that our complex political views cannot be accurately expressed when we are limited to supporting just one option, treating all others as equally undesirable. An independent rating for each candidate is just the solution.
A 2014 survey by Pew Research Center found that Republicans and Democrats are more divided along ideological lines – and partisan antipathy is deeper and more extensive – than at any point in modern history. Spurred by this, voting system researchers have spent the past two decades analyzing groundbreaking alternatives to the USA’s present system. STAR Voting is the culmination of those years of intense study and debate. It was designed to balance consensus with majority rule while simultaneously confronting practical concerns around strategic behavior head on.
Please vote YES on Measure 20-290.
Co-founder, The Center for Election Science, Counted (Washington)
(This information furnished by Clay Shentrup.)
Argument in Favor
VOTE ‘YES’ FOR STAR VOTING
Our Revolution Lane County (ORLC) endorses a YES vote for STAR Voting. ORLC is a grassroots organization inspired by Bernie Sanders’ historic run for the Presidency. One of our goals is to enhance the voice of voters by improving our elections processes.
STAR Voting would:
- reduce the influence of big donors on county elections
- give voters greater ability to express their views on all candidates
- choose winners with broad support from voters
- demonstrate a better voting system to use for other elections
- make “vote-splitting” and “spoiler” elections near impossible
ORLC is a grassroots organization that engages, educates, and activates ourselves and the community to participate in local, state and national government issues. We are a trans-partisan (not affiliated with any particular political party) group that discusses issues and works across and beyond political parties to encourage active participation from everyone, regardless of ANY or no political party affiliation at all.
(This information furnished by Jim Cupples, Our Revolution Lane County.)
Argument in Favor
List of Early Endorsers
(Titles are for identification only. For a more complete list go to: http://starlane.us)
Eugene Springfield Solidarity Network
Our Revolution Lane County
Alliance for Democracy – Oregon
Mike Clark, Eugene City Councilor, Ward 5
Betty Taylor, Eugene City Councilor
Jennifer Yeh, Eugene City Councilor
Mel Barber, Bob Cassidy,
Rick Dancer, Ruth Duemler,
Phyllis Hockley & Len Hockley,
Hallie Roberts, Stephen Robinson,
Carol Scherer, Joy Thomson
Arun N. Toké, Marianne Zundel
Thomas A. Brown
James Barber, Jim Cupples,
Elin England & Don Schneider
Laura E. Stine
(This information furnished by Alan Zundel, STAR Voting for Lane County.)
Argument in Favor
Fellow Lane County voters, I encourage you to vote YES on Measure 20-290, to enact Score Then Automatic Runoff (STAR) Voting for Lane County offices, for three reasons:
1) Our current system of politics is clearly broken. No matter where we stand on the political spectrum, we see that our polarized, money-dominated political system fails to address urgent issues of the day. At the very root of this problem is the method of how we choose our representatives: because we can only express support for one candidate in any election, we are at a huge disadvantage if we like more than one candidate. This shuts out alternative voices, limits candidate participation, and compels us to support only well-funded, polarized, “frontrunner” candidates.
2) STAR is a fair system. It allows us each to express a level of support for any and all candidates on the ballot. Because STAR includes an automatic runoff, it ensures a majority winner between the two candidates we all support the most. Every voter gets an equal and expressive vote, and the system as a whole is radically more accurate at determining who we, the voters, want to represent us. It's also WAY more efficient – STAR does a better job of determining the winner in one election than our current two-election system. It will save voters and candidates time and money.
3) Although there are many alternative voting systems, including approval, score, and ranked choice voting, STAR Voting surpasses them all by maximizing accuracy, voter expressiveness and simplicity of implementation.
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.
Co-Chief Petitioner, STAR Voting for Lane County
Founder, Equal Vote Coalition
(This information furnished by Mark Frohnmayer, Equal Vote Coalition.)
Argument in Favor
YES for STAR Voting!
Why change our voting method? There are lots of important issues in our society, but consider how many are affected by:
- Frustration and division among citizens,
- Partisan negativity and gridlock, and
- The influence of big donors on government.
These factors add up to voter disempowerment. I saw these trends worsening when I was a political science professor 20 years ago, and am convinced our voting methods are a primary contributor.
STAR Voting is a recently developed method based on 200 years of accumulated knowledge about what works and what doesn’t when voting and electing people. It’s been vetted by election reformists, computer simulations, small scale demonstrations, and an election of a neighborhood council.
With STAR Voting you can give scores of 0-5 to as many candidates as you choose. The ballots are counted to look for two things:
First, when all the scores for each candidate are added up, which two got the highest overall scores? This shows broad and high support. Second, which of those two did the most voters prefer, as shown by which one each voter scored higher? This is a simple majority vote, one-person one-vote.
This simple scoring and counting method:
- Gives voters the ability to express their views on different candidates, no longer inducing them to limit themselves to picking between the best-funded front runners,
- Makes it easier for all candidates, no matter what their political affiliations, to get a hearing from voters, and
- Favors candidates who are good at understanding voters’ common concerns rather than pitting them against each other.
The California-style “top-two jungle primary” voting method Lane County now uses for county elections makes for long election campaigns, pits candidates from the same party against each other, and limits voter choice. Let’s replace this archaic system with STAR Voting!
--Alan Zundel, co-petitioner
(This information furnished by Alan Zundel.)
Argument in Favor
As a former Democratic Oregon Legislator who has fought in too many needlessly partisan battles for better school funding, fairer taxes, and sensible actions to address climate change, I have first-hand experience with how dysfunctional our political system has become. An honest assessment of how we got here requires that we look at the primary election system that rewards extremists on both sides of the aisle.
Both progressive and conservative activists, and the special interests who use them, are fighting harder than ever before for their causes – expecting stronger adherence from elected officials to their narrow interests.
Whether you are a Republican or Democrat, just ask yourself, “Is it working?”
How are we doing on school funding, class sizes, music, art and PE?
How are we doing on gun safety laws?
How are we doing at making the government less costly and more functional?
How are we doing on making the tax code fairer?
How are we doing on addressing climate change?
It is tempting to blame the other party and double down on the system that created the problem in the first place and simply elect louder, more partisan voices – but we’ve already tried that. We need to stop the crazy-making.
We all know that our democracy was built on the simple idea that the majority rules, and a clear majority of Oregonians want solutions to all of these issues and more.
But tribal warfare between the parties is at an all-time high due to the power of single-issue special interests and the primary election system that gives them their power. These special interests are like a bug in our election system. So it is time to reboot our democracy with an upgrade that addresses the bug.
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.
(This information furnished by Chris Edwards.)
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