LANE COUNTY, ORE. – A new voting method is close to appearing on the November ballot in Lane County, Oregon. County election officials certified more than the 11,506 signatures needed to qualify STAR Voting for the 2018 general election. It must be reviewed by the Lane County Counsel to ensure it qualifies as a single-subject amendment to officially be on the ballot.
STAR (Score-Then-Automatic-Runoff) Voting allows voters to score each candidate 0 to 5. A zero score means no support at all, while a 5 score represents maximum support. The two candidates who score the highest move on to an automatic runoff. The finalist who is scored the highest by the most voters wins.
The initiative would replace the county’s nonpartisan primary and top-two general election with a single November election using the STAR method.
“We believe this reform will be a big improvement: it’ll save candidates and voters the time, money, and hassle of two elections to make the same choice,” says Mark Frohnmayer, co-petitioner of the STAR Voting initiative and president of Arcimoto.
“It’ll allow candidates to campaign during the warm summer months instead of knocking doors in the winter rain, and we’ll finally be able to support candidates we really like, without having to consider how much backing they have or who the polls say are the ‘viable’ candidates.”
Petitioners were able to collect over 16,000 signatures to put STAR Voting on the ballot. They did this with the help of nearly 50 volunteers and active citizens in the community who started collecting signatures during the Women’s March in January and finished on Independence Day.
“Asking our fellow citizens to discuss the next evolution of democracy on this July 4th was a revolutionary moment in my life,’’ said STAR Voting For Lane County Campaign Manager Hallie Roberts. “We look forward to Lane County Counsel’s speedy review and confirmation of the measure’s standing on the November ballot.”
Lane County would be the first jurisdiction in the United States to implement STAR Voting if approved. The initiative applies to elections for county commissioners, the county sheriff, and county assessor.
Stay tuned for more on this story.