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File #: 210754    Version: 0 Name:
Type: Resolution Status: ADOPTED
File created: 9/23/2021 In control: CITY COUNCIL
On agenda: Final action: 9/23/2021
Title: Authorizing the Committee on Law & Government to hold hearings regarding the implications of a ranked-choice voting system for Philadelphia.
Sponsors: Councilmember Green, Councilmember Domb, Councilmember Gauthier, Councilmember Thomas, Councilmember Bass
Attachments: 1. Signature21075400
Title
Authorizing the Committee on Law & Government to hold hearings regarding the implications of a ranked-choice voting system for Philadelphia.

Body
WHEREAS, The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has a unified election system under its current Constitution, creating a single voter registry (limited to citizens 18 years of age or older), specifying specific days on which primary, special, and general elections are held each year, and providing a uniform voting machine procurement process, mandating campaign finance limitations, prohibitions, and disclosures, but allowing limited local variation, such as the City of Philadelphia's additional campaign finance strictures; and

WHEREAS, Across the country, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and City of Philadelphia, elections are usually dominated by candidates from two political parties; and

WHEREAS, This bifurcation is largely explained by the first-past-the-post system of voting most commonly used in the United States, which incents voters to cluster into two large coalitions reflected in opposing parties, to prevent each elector's most opposed candidate from securing a plurality; and

WHEREAS, In combination with national polarization, the advantages of incumbency, and other factors (the time and cost of campaigning, among the most obvious), many positions lack even that level of competition in general elections - huge swaths of the country are dominated by one set of partisans, despite covering a wide range of ideologies, approaches, emphases, and styles that are sorted through primaries; and

WHEREAS, Ranked-choice voting, sometimes called instant runoff voting, allows voters to rank candidates on their ballots, so that if one candidate does not secure a majority of votes, election officials can eliminate candidates with the fewest first-choice votes and immediately re-assign those voters to their next-choice candidate, until one candidate is favored over the remaining alternatives by a majority of voters; and...

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