IVN Podcast: The Fight to De-Rig Elections Spreads from San Diego to Maine

In the pilot episode of IVN’s newest podcast, A Civil Assessment, T.J. O’Hara takes a look at electoral reform around the country. From measures and bills that have successfully passed, Ranked Choice Voting in Maine and Measure K in San Diego, to those just introduced on the floor, like top-two in Nevada, T.J. breaks down how each movement aims to “de-rig” elections.

Republican State Senator James Settelmeyer  introduced Nevada’s top-two bill on Tuesday, February 7. The bill, SB103, would implement a primary system allowing all candidates to appear on the ballot, where the top two vote-getters continue to the general election, regardless of party. Doug Goodman, founder of Nevada Election Modernization and Reform Act and author of a blog by the same name, spoke with T.J. on the podcast about the bill.

T.J. also interviewed the campaign manager for Ranked Choice Voting in Maine, Kyle Bailey. Kyle discussed the merits of Ranked Choice Voting, or Instant Runoff Voting, and how the citizens’ initiative made it to the ballot, and passed with 52 percent voter approval. Maine is the first state to pass Ranked Choice Voting, which is now facing backlash from Maine’s legislators.

Chad Peace, an attorney for the Independent Voter Project — authors of the nonpartisan, top-two primary in California — and national advocate for election reform, discussed San Diego’s Measure K, an election law that requires all citywide elections to be decided in November, when the most voters participate. Before Measure K, San Diego’s local races could end in the June primary if a candidate received over 50% of the vote.

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