Seattle Approves started with the question, “How can we make Seattle’s elections as representative as possible?”

The answer is a tiny change called Approval Voting: let voters support as many candidates as they want, like this example ballot.

In a primary with 15 candidates, candidates often have overlapping opinions – and many voters support more than 1. Approval voting will let voters express their full opinion and support 1, 2, 3, or more candidates.

This tiny change will:

  • Eliminate endemic vote-splitting. Similar candidates will no longer “split the vote” and all lose.
  • Match voters’ preferences better than any other system in the country.
  • Turn every election into an honest measurement of how many voters support each candidate. If you’ve ever thought, “I’d like to vote for that candidate, but I’d be throwing away my vote,” you’ve experienced how our current system doesn’t accurately measure voter support.
  • Ensure that ballots are simple and accessible to everyone, including non-native English speakers and voters who are short on time.
  • Make politics less divisive. Campaigns won’t fight each other over voters — they’ll fight for wider support.

Approval voting is used in St. Louis and Fargo. In St. Louis, it was adopted in 2020 with 68% support and endorsements from The League of Women Voters, the city’s largest newspaper, SEIU, The Organization for Black Struggle, and many elected officials of all viewpoints. It’s inherently non-partisan and candidate-neutral.

Let's make this happen

To make approval voting a reality in Seattle, we are putting an initiative on the ballot in November 2022 (read more). To do that, we’ll need to collect signatures from about 26,200 voters between January and June 2022.

Here’s how to help:

  • Sign up for updates below
  • Tell your friends, Facebook friends, and Twitter followers that we can have better elections with this tiny change 
  • Volunteer (just send a quick note and we’ll get back to you)
  • Sign the initiative petition in the first half of 2022

let's bring better elections
to seattle.

Approval voting lets you give a thumbs up to every candidate you support:

Example of our current ballot vs an Approval Voting ballot

As always, the candidate with the most votes wins.

In Seattle, primary ballots will use approval voting. Just like today, the two candidates supported by the most voters will go on to the general election.

watch how approval voting
improves elections

Paid for by Seattle Approves, PO Box 23026, Seattle, WA 98102

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