Seattle, don’t make the same mistake Chicago did. Adopt ranked-choice voting (RCV) quickly.
I’m originally from downstate Illinois, so disparaging Chicago politics is practically a way of life for me. But after the 2019 mayoral election, a new standard was set.
In 2019, 14 candidates ran for mayor. The candidate with the most votes before the top-two runoff got only 18% of the vote — and the race was a mess of negative, divisive campaigning.
In its wake, the election left a fractured, frazzled electorate who had little confidence in the new mayor’s mandate to lead.
Seattle is barreling down the tracks toward a similar debacle. With the vacancy left by Mayor Jenny Durkan, dozens of hopeful Seattlites will likely toss their name in the hat.
If Seattle doesn’t use RCV in 2021, Seattle voters could very well be left unsatisfied, unimpressed and unrepresented by the choices on the ballot.
As Mayor Jenny Durkan wrote in her recent Op-Ed, “Seattle has always been the city that invents the future” [“Why I won’t run for a second term as Seattle mayor,” Dec. 7, Opinion]. Let’s continue to be that city. Let’s push for RCV so we can be the city that shows the world the future of democracy.
Ben Chapman, Seattle, communications manager, FairVote Washington