FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Wednesday, November 9, 2022
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Ross Sherman, RepresentUs Media Relations Manager, 207-749-2660, firstname.lastname@example.org
With the outcome of many high-profile races across the country still uncertain, RepresentUs and partners are celebrating seven significant victories for the anti-corruption movement, with more still expected. Each new law will take more power from politicians and give it to the voters, where it belongs.
As of Wednesday evening, three cities and one county successfully passed Ranked Choice Voting. That’s nearly 1.7 million more people who now live in places that give voters better choices at the ballot box. Those RCV victories came alongside wins for protecting the ballot initiative process, cracking down on dark money, and improving voter turnout.
“Yesterday was a huge victory for voters demanding more power and accountability. I’m thrilled to see victories for our movement continue to roll in,” said RepresentUs CEO Joshua Graham Lynn. “From coast to coast, the voters have spoken: they want politicians who represent them and their communities, and they want elections that give them better choices. Credit goes to our many partners, volunteers and supporters across the country who made this happen. I also want to thank America’s election workers, who are working tirelessly as we speak to make sure everyone’s vote is counted. The process is working, and we should all continue to be patient and let them do their jobs.”
Here is a summary of the confirmed and outstanding results from RepresentUs and its partners’ priority campaigns.
Ranked Choice Voting
Portland, Oregon became the largest city in the country to use Ranked Choice Voting for multi-member city council districts. Multnomah County also passed RCV Tuesday.
“This is a huge win for voters in Portland. By updating their city charter, Portlanders can look forward to a government that represents everyone and is responsive to their needs,” said Interim Director of Political Programs Megan Caska. “We’re thrilled for our partner Portland United for Change, which spearheaded this effort. And we’re even more thrilled that Proportional RCV is coming to Portland.”
Fort Collins will become the largest city in Colorado to use Ranked Choice Voting. Media outlets called the results for Measure 2C Tuesday night, which will give voters better choices at the ballot box and better representation in city government. Everyday Coloradans led this effort, bringing Colorado one step closer to statewide adoption.
“This is a huge victory for Fort Collins voters,” said RepresentUs Campaign Advisor Anna Scanlon. “Because of the tireless work of our partners at RCV for Fort Collins and others, hundreds of thousands of voters will have a government that represents them – not special interests or political parties.”
Voters in Evanston, Illinois overwhelmingly approved Ranked Choice Voting for city elections. Unofficial results have the measure at more than 80% support. Evanston is the first city in the state to make this simple change to its elections, which will give more power to the voters.
“By passing Ranked Choice Voting, residents of Evanston will have better choices, better representation, and better accountability in their government,” said RepresentUs Campaign Advisor Bo Harmon. “Evanston voters no longer have to choose between the 'lesser of two evils.' With RCV, they can put their community first and support the person that best represents them.”
Stopping politicians’ power grabs
Arkansans successfully defeated an attempt by state politicians to increase the threshold to pass ballot initiatives. In the last five years, politicians across the country have carried out an unprecedented legislative and legal strategy to take away voters’ ability to pass laws through ballot initiative. With the defeat of Amendment 2 in Arkansas, voters have now rejected two attempts by politicians in 2022 to take more power for themselves.
“Arkansans saw through this shameless attempt by politicians to take away their rights,” said RepresentUs Campaign Advisor Bo Harmon. "By rejecting Amendment 2, they successfully stopped a corrupt scheme to make it harder for voters to pass laws at the ballot. Special interests don’t need more power than they already have. Arkansas voters should have the most powerful voice in government.”
Oakland voters passed Measure W, which empowers small donors with Democracy Dollars, lowers contribution limits, and increases donor transparency.
“Oakland voters have spoken: No one should be able to spend unlimited dark money to buy elections, and hide it from the voters,” said RepresentUs Campaign Advisor Anna Scanlon. “By passing Measure W, the city is on a path to taking power away from dark-money groups and giving it back to the voters – where it belongs.”
Finally, San Francisco voters passed Proposition H, which moves city elections from odd years to the presidential election cycle.
“By moving city elections to presidential years, San Francisco can expect better representation by increasing turnout,” said RepresentUs Campaign Advisor Anna Scanlon. "San Francisco’s political leaders will be accountable to the whole community, not a small fraction.”
With these seven confirmed wins as of Wednesday afternoon, RepresentUs, its partners and the anti-corruption movement have now notched 168 victories over the last 10 years.
Anti-corruption campaigns awaiting results
All eyes are on major RCV initiatives in Nevada and Seattle. Nevada’s Question 3, which establishes nonpartisan primaries and RCV general elections, is currently leading by a slim margin.
Seattle’s Proposition 1, which asks voters if they want to change the city’s election system to either Approval Voting (AV) or RCV, is also currently in a dead heat. However, in the second part of the ballot question, voters prefer RCV to AV by a wide margin.
RepresentUs will continue to share results on key anti-corruption ballot measures as they come in, and will be hosting a 2022 Election Recap event on November 15 to go over the victories, lessons learned, and what’s next for the movement.
RepresentUs is America’s leading nonpartisan organization fighting to protect and strengthen democracy. We unite unlikely allies from across the political spectrum who put country over party to pass pro-democracy laws, fight corruption, and defeat authoritarian threats. We have won more than 160 victories in cities and states across America since our founding 10 years ago. Each win is one step closer to our vision of making America the world’s strongest democracy.