Proponents of a voting system called “approval voting” successfully collected sufficient signatures to get their initiative on Seattle’s November ballot. Now, fans of ranked-choice voting are asking the Seattle City Council to add their measure to the ballot to compete.
Approval voting allows voters to choose as many candidates as they like without signaling their preference. The candidate with the most overall votes wins. Supporters say that this produces a consensus candidate.
In ranked-choice voting, voters rank candidates in order of whom they like the most to whom they like the least. Then, election machines tabulate who had the most support in a series of tabulation rounds. If a person’s first choice is defeated, the count moves onto their second, and so on.
Supporters of this method say that it is superior because the winner will not only have the most support, they will have the strongest support by preference.
Voters can select or rank as many candidates as they like. Both systems are a deviation from first-past-the-post, the traditional form of voting in which people select one candidate to support.
Biden moves on abortion
President Joe Biden announced an executive order that will help protect access to abortion on July 8. At the same time, he told voters that it will be up to them to elect more Democrats in the November election who will move to codify the right to abortion in federal law.
The executive order directs the Department of Justice to protect abortion clinics from intimidation and protect the right of pregnant people to travel from states that prohibit abortion to states where the procedure is still legal.
It also solidifies the right to the abortion pill, a drug approved by the Federal Drug Administration, and requires doctors to treat people who are experiencing pregnancy loss; the treatment for miscarriage is the same as that for an abortion, a fact which has made doctors fear to treat people in states where abortion is now illegal.
The Department of Health and Human Services has been directed to expand contraceptive options including IUDs, birth control pills and emergency contraception.
It also directs the Federal Trade Commission to stop data brokers that sell private information collected off the internet and through apps. People have been concerned that their internet searches could be used against them.
The Justices’ decision wasn’t about the Constitution or the law, but a long-standing desire to get rid of Roe v. Wade, Biden said in his remarks.
“So, what we’re witnessing wasn’t a constitutional judgement. It was an exercise in raw political power,” Biden said.
Read more of the July 13-19, 2022 issue.