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Why We Have Rank-Choice Voting In Oakland

Why We Have Rank-Choice Voting In Oakland Rank-Choice voting in Oakland goes back to a time between 1998 and 2006 when the city had a number of runoff voting sessions. Under the old system, Oakland had to set up a whole new election day for the remaining challengers. There were those who wanted a less costly way of voting. Others wanted a better way for minority voters to have power. In the case of the Oakland City Council District Two elections, Pat Kernaghan twice beat Amy Allison. in the second time they battled, the runoff vote caused Shirley Gee to be dropped from the race. That caused some to wonder what would happen is Gee's supporters were able to be combined with Amy's supporters in rank choice voting? Why? Because Allison was black and Gee was Asian - the feeling by some was that rank choice voting would have allowed them to team up and out of that Allison would win. Still another group wanted a more modern way of voting and on a par with Berkeley and other cities around the World. All of those coalitions came together to make Measure O, the Instant Runoff Voting law, and place it on the ballot for 2006. It passed. Then came the new voting machines and testing. Finally the new machines were used in 2010. The result was that while California State Senator Don Perata was the front runner, Jean Quan got the most second and third choice votes. That was thanks to a voting team up strategy she used with Oakland At - Large Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan - they both told their supporters to vote for the other. So Jean Quan became the 49th Mayor of Oakland. Rank-Choice Voting has served to give minority voters more power in the selection of an elected official in Oakland. Stay tuned.

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