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Associated Press
Published: 26 January 2022

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Supporters of a voting method that allows people to rank candidates in order of preference want to give people in Oregon the chance to use the system in statewide elections.

"Ranked choice voting” has been used on a limited basis in Benton County, Oregon. It’s used statewide in Maine and in some American cities.

Oregon Public Broadcasting reports supporters of the method in Oregon have filed a pair of initiatives aimed at putting the question before voters this fall.

How the system works

The two initiatives are similar. Co-petitioner Blair Bobier of Corvallis said the only difference is that one of them would include the presidential election in ranked choice voting, and the other would not.

Otherwise, the ranked choice method would be used in all Oregon elections for members of Congress, as well as all statewide positions including governor, secretary of state, attorney general, treasurer, and labor commissioner.

Supporters of ranked choice voting say it allows voters to have a greater say in election outcomes.

If no single candidate gets more than 50 percent of the vote in the initial count, then the candidate with the least support gets removed from consideration. Then, elections officials consider the second choice candidate on the ballots of people who voted for the person who was eliminated.

The process is repeated until one candidate clears the 50 percent threshold.

Bobier and his co-petitioner, Eileen Reavy of Portland, will need to gather more than 112,000 valid signatures in less than six months in order to qualify for the November ballot.

If voters approve, the first statewide election to use ranked choice voting in Oregon would be the 2024 primary.

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