California Common Cause Hails Oakland City Council Vote To Implement Irv For November 2010 Election

Media Contact:

January 6, 2010

Emily Pears, (415) 913-7397

California Common Cause Hails Oakland City Council Vote to Implement IRV for November 2010 Election

On Tuesday evening, January 5th, the Oakland City Council voted 6-2 to move forward with implementation of Ranked Choice Voting for the November, 2010 elections. Oakland voters passed Measure O in 2006 requiring the city to run Ranked Choice Voting elections as soon as appropriate voter education plans were in place and the Alameda County Registrar of Voters was able to run the RCV election. RCV allows voters to indicate their top 3 choices for city council. This saves voters money by consolidating two elections into one. The city council’s vote for implementation became possible following Secretary of State Bowen’s authorization of Alameda County’s voting machines for use in conducting RCV elections last month, and Alameda County Registrar Macdonald’s assurance that he is now able to conduct the RCV election on Oakland’s behalf.

California Common Cause and other organizations in Oakland have long advocated for the use of RCV in city elections. California Common Cause Executive Director Kathay Feng noted that, “We are very excited that Oakland is finally moving forward with implementation of Ranked Choice Voting. Our members have worked hard over the last five years to bring more cost effective elections to the city of Oakland that will increase voter turnout and ensure representative government and are pleased that Ranked Choice Voting will finally be used on Oakland ballots.”

The City Council’s implementation included a Memorandum of Understanding with the Alameda County Registrar of Voters outlining, among other things, the estimated cost of Ranked Choice Voting implementation. The MOU also allows for costs to be shared with the cities of Berkeley and San Leandro if they decide to also move to Ranked Choice Voting. Both Berkeley and San Leandro City Councils will consider moving to Ranked Choice Voting in meetings in the next month.

Oakland City Council members also stressed the importance of implementing a robust voter education plan around the switch to Ranked Choice Voting. Emily Pears, Bay Area Organizer for California Common Cause addressed the issue of voter education: “California Common Cause is eager to work with the diverse coalition of community organizations who have advocated for Ranked Choice Voting to ensure that all of Oakland’s voters are prepared to vote on Election Day.”

California Common Cause is a nonpartisan, grassroots organization dedicated to restoring an open, honest, and accountable government, also working to strengthen public participation and ensuring that political processes serve the public interest, rather than the special interests.