TAKE ACTION: Tell the Governor: Make Local Elections More Democratic!

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SB 212, rank choice voting, local elections, California, Governor Newsom

Did you know that in many local elections, candidates can be elected even if they received far less than a majority of the votes? One study found that, for single-seat city elections with three or more candidates, the winner was elected with less than a majority over 40 percent of the time. Candidates have even been elected to city offices with less than 25 percent of the vote.

Act now and urge Governor Newsom to sign SB 212, giving cities, counties, and school districts the option to use more democratic, majority-winner voting methods.

  • Some cities already have the option to use runoff elections or ranked choice voting to ensure candidates are elected with majority support. But state law prevents other cities and school districts from using majority-winner voting systems.
  • This bill removes those restrictions, allowing cities, counties, and school districts to also adopt top-two runoffs or ranked choice voting.
  • It also preserves local control; a jurisdiction could only change its voting system by a majority vote of its electorate.

Act now and urge Governor Newsom to sign SB 212 and open up options for voting methods promoting majority-winners.