The NYS RCV Committee, founded by a PWM member, spearheaded education and and mobilization to add RCV to the LWV of NYS 2023-24 Program. The effort meant that 40% of NYS local Leagues recommended this to NYS — and the NYS Board responded by recommending a statewide Study Committee study on the use of RCV and alternatives to party primaries for state, congressional and local office.
This Study Committee was approved by delegates almost unanimously and will begin forming in the summer of 2023, will likely work through much of 2024, and local Leagues across the state may weigh in during early 2024.
We congratulate the NYS RCV Committee on their work — and the NYS Board and Convention delegates in choosing this path. It will provide significant direction, using the best evidence available, to make recommendations about whether, why, and where NYS might choose to move from plurality voting (what we have now in most jurisdictions, often called “first past the post”) to something that may serve NYS voters better.
Although the RCV Committee members will likely continue educating NYS residents and League members on this issue, much of their effort will be in supporting the Study Committee efforts. Updates will be shared here, when they are available.
This page will be revised soon.
The LWV Port Washington/Manhasset is actively engaged on Electoral Reform issues. We are looking to work with members who share the belief that we must improve the ways we elect our leaders to build a stronger democracy in the 21st century. Voters who don’t feel heard don’t engage. Engaging voters motivates them to do the work that democracy requires.
We established our Electoral Reform Committee in the spring of 2021. This is an issue area with many opportunities to improve our elections and voting; this committee seeks to be an inclusive umbrella for those seeking specific reforms — both those already supported by League positions and those needing studies because no position yet exists. Here are a few highlights of our first year:
Building a base within our own League
Building a network across NYS
View Caucus video on our YouTube Channel
Our Goal: 2023 Convention adoption of a NYS position on Electoral Reform.
If achieving a voting system that better represents the preferences of voters and allows voters to vote their consciences (voting FOR the candidates they prefer) rather than voting strategically (to prevent the candidates they like least from winning), excites you, we would love to work with you.
2022 Goal: LWV of PWM Adoption of LWV of NYC position
See the Study Materials we prepared to educate League members prior to Concurrence meeting
We are building Electoral Reform in NYS on a strong foundation. State and local Leagues around the country have worked on this for years.
14 other state level Leagues have positions in favor of Electoral Reform, alternatives to plurality voting, and RCV (AZ, CA, CO, CO, FL, MA, ME, MN, NC, OK, OR, PA, SC, VT, WA). Here’s a particularly strong example from Washington State
RCV is now in use in over 50 jurisdictions in the United States. On Election Day in 2021, 31 states and localities used Ranked Choice Voting to choose their leaders
What about in NYC:
LWVNYC adopted a position in favor of Ranked Choice Voting in 2010. Though it took nearly a decade, in 2019 NYC agreed to run its 2021 primary elections using RCV.
With sponsors from NYC and Buffalo, the NYS Assembly and NYS Senate have both drafted bills supporting the implementation of Ranked Choice Voting in New York State, though these bills have yet to make it out of committee.
Our PWM committee actively monitors these bills, will score them according to the US position, with other NYS Local Leagues and NYS non-profit, non-partisan allies, and regularly report to our PWM Board and membership.
Voting systems that better represent the preferences of the entire electorate, encouraging “sincere” voting rather than “strategic voting” — that is, that allow voters to cast ballots for their favored candidate rather than against the candidate they least favor — result in more candidates throwing their hats into the ring and a greater diversity of winners.
Excellent infomation on Election Reform can be found at FairVote
This is a good educational overview video of the history of RCV and how it work
A couple of addtional alternatives to pluarlity voting – Approval Voting and Star Voting
A LWV ally in non-partisan advocacy for RCV in NYS – Ranked Choice NY. The national parent org is Rank The Vote
Whether you have a couple hours a month (or much more), whether you know voting reform is something you care about (or you have doubts but want to learn), or whether there is some other aspect of voting reform you want to educate and advocate for — we’d love to hear from you.