Seattle for RCV

Campaign Status: Victory

Outcome

Seattle will become the third-largest city in the United States to use Ranked Choice Voting (RCV). In the 2022 midterm elections, voters approved RCV for primary races for city attorney, mayor and city council races. Under Seattle’s old primary system, candidates could move on to the general election even if they didn’t win a majority of the vote. Under RCV, candidates will now be forced to appeal to – and would be accountable to – a wider base of the city’s voters. Seattle residents will now have better choices and better representation in city government. Voters will be able to count on elected officials who are more accountable to them, instead of the entrenched political establishment. Congrats to the Seattle for RCV coalition, which spearheaded this effort from the start!

The Policy

Proposition 1B: Ranked-choice voting (RCV) for Seattle’s primary races for city attorney, mayor, and city council.

To pass RCV in November, Seattle voters should: (1) vote YES on Proposition 1, which asks whether you want to change the way elections are run in Seattle, and (2) vote YES on Proposition 1B, which says that the type of voting you would like to adopt is ranked-choice voting.

Sample ballot:
Seattle Prop 1B Sample Ballot

Background

Seattle currently uses a plurality voting system for primary elections for the mayor, city attorney, and city council, in which the candidate receiving the most votes advances to the general election. This system of voting can lead to candidates winning their primary even if they didn’t win a majority of the vote.

Seattle for RCV started their campaign to improve Seattle’s elections by making sure candidates have to appeal to and are accountable to a wider base of the city’s voters. RCV takes power away from the entrenched political establishment and gives power to the voters – where it belongs.

Who’s Involved?

Seattle for RCV is a coalition of organizations and advocates who want to bring more voice and better choice to Seattle voters. Some organizations involved include FairVote Washington, Washington for Equitable Representation, Washington CAN, PROTEC 17, More Equitable Democracy Action, and RepresentUs.

Fund Campaigns
Like This

The Common Wealth is a community of people across the country who have made a commitment to building a democracy that works for everyone. By making a generous gift each month, they directly support the fight to fix our broken political system: city by city, state by state.

100% of donations support the front lines of the movement.

Campaign Milestones

  • Nov 2022

    Seattle passes RCV for primary races for city attorney, mayor and city council.

  • Sep 2022

    Seattle for RCV tallies more than 33 endorsements from local organizations, unions, and nonprofits.

  • Jul 2022

    By a vote of 7 to 2, Seattle’s City Council votes to place a ranked choice voting measure on the November ballot.

The Latest From This Campaign

Yes on Seattle Proposition 1B, ranked-choice voting: Encourage good people to run cooperative campaigns
Oct 31 2022

Proposition 1B has been endorsed by more than 30 local organizations, including the League of Women Voters of Seattle-King County, the King County Democrats and the Washington Conservation Voters. It has also been endorsed by a diverse coalition of leaders in our city.

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Ranked Choice and Approval Voting: what’s the difference, Seattle?
Oct 12 2022

In Seattle, ranked choice voting is the reform that people are rallying around. 33 local organizations, unions, and nonprofits have endorsed ranked choice voting, including groups like the League of Women Voters, Faith Action Network, Latino Community Fund, and multiple district Democratic parties.

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Seattle Needs Real Democracy Reform
Oct 5 2022

The bottom line is that having a truly democratic voting system in our city isn’t just the morally right thing to do, it’s the vehicle through which Seattle voters could finally see the progress they so desperately seek on housing, transportation, and public safety.

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Washingtonians should continue the state’s strong history of progressive initiatives
Aug 10 2022

In San Juan and Clark counties and in the city of Seattle, ranked-choice voting will be on the ballot.

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Seattle City Council Puts Ranked-Choice Voting on the Ballot
Jul 15 2022

The City Council advanced a proposal on Thursday that, if approved by voters, would adopt ranked-choice voting for future city primary elections.

Read More