From Logan Bowers
As we’ve been gripped by national politics, we’ve seen just how important it is to elect the right leaders—and how disastrous it can be when someone unqualified holds office. Seattle isn’t immune, as any of us who watched the turmoil unfold in the city this summer. But this year, St. Louis showed us how we can make Seattle’s elections fairer, more democratic, and select better leaders. St. Louis voters overwhelmingly chose, with 68+% of the vote in favor, to change their elections to use Approval Voting. We need to follow their lead, and so we formed Seattle Approves to bring this reform to the ballot.
Approval Voting is a really simple change to our elections. Instead of being forced to pick one voter in the primary election, pick as many as you want. Each candidate you pick gets one vote. The top two still advance to the general election as they do today.
Seattle primaries regularly have over a dozen candidates. Under the current system, if you and other voters like two candidates, they’ll split those votes and both will lose—even though they had popular support. We saw this in action where city council candidates were winning 2019 primaries with less than 25% of the vote. When you can pick multiple candidates, your vote is never wasted, your ballot more accurately reflects your preferences, and the candidate with the most voter support prevails.
Seattle Approves is a grassroots effort to bring Approval Voting to Seattle. We’re working to bring the same system St. Louis just passed to Seattle through a city initiative. We need your help. Visit http://seattleapproves.org and use our 1-question survey to tell us what you think. And if you too would like to see better, fairer elections in Seattle, join our mailing list to receive updates. We’re entirely volunteer run, and you can help make it happen by joining our Discord channel and volunteering.
We’ve seen over the last four years that elections matter. Getting the best candidates into office matters. With your help and support, we can build on the success of Democracy Vouchers and take the next step, so that Seattle holds the fairest, most representative, and most democratic elections in the United States.
Logan Bowers is a D3 Seattle resident, software engineer, and small business owner of Hashtag Cannabis. He ran for Seattle City Council in 2019.
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