VOTING IN SEATTLE
SIMPLE. FLEXIBLE. BETTER.
Seattle primary elections use an outdated voting method: every voter is allowed to select exactly one candidate. In reality, many voters are actually supportive of several candidates, and in these cases our system does a poor job of honoring their true preferences.
In 2019, some candidates won primaries with less than 35% of votes. That means 3 out of 5 voters preferred a different candidate. In 2021, we had 15 candidates in the running for mayor.
Approval Voting would mean you give a thumbs up to each candidate you support:
As always, the candidate with the most votes wins. It’s that simple.
Like several candidates?
Approve them all.
Only like one candidate?
Approve just that one.
Only know who you don’t want?
Approve everyone else.
Worried that your favorite doesn’t have a chance?
Approve your favorite plus a few more you like.
Approval Voting ballots contain more information about your preferences, and as a result you are more likely to be satisfied with the winner.
Usually we have to choose two between “simple”, “effective”, and “affordable”. Approval voting is all three.
No one implementing an election today would choose the system we use. That’s why St. Louis, MO recently adopted Approval Voting with broad support from the city’s largest newspaper, elected officials, and The League of Women Voters. We can be next.
Here’s how we’ll bring Approval Voting to Seattle City Council and Mayoral primary elections:
All of these depend on Seattle Approves getting good at succinctly explaining the problem and the solution.
So, how do we make progress right now?
Our short-term goal is simple: get a meaningful number of people involved – about 1,000 Seattle voters – on an email mailing list and starting to collaborate. Please join below ↓
Also consider joining our Discord chat.