08. December 2022 · Comments Off on Badger Club – Ranked Choice Voting · Categories: Recent Events


Should Washington State Adopt Ranked-Choice Voting?

Lisa Ayrault, Director
FairVote Washington
Mark A. Smith, Political Science
University of Washington

Is Ranked-Choice Voting (RCV) a better way to tap into the broader will of the people and improve the function in our civic affairs? RCV made several appearances in this election cycle. Various jurisdictions around the country have adopted RCV—from mayoral races in New York to congressional seats in Alaska. 

Proponents argue that RCV makes democracy more functional by encouraging moderate candidates who would have to appeal beyond the party’s extreme base. Opponents often say RCV is costly, confusing and undemocratic, that a candidate who initially led voting with a plurality (say 43%) might not be the ultimate winner.

This is how FairVote Washington describes the process, “All of the first-choice votes are counted. If one candidate gets more than half the votes, they win – just like in any other election. However, if no candidate gets more than half of the first-choice votes, the candidate with the fewest votes is eliminated. If your candidate was eliminated, your ballot goes to your next choice! That elimination process repeats until a candidate has majority of the votes.”

To explore this question more deeply, the Badger Club will present two speakers:  Lisa Ayrault, Director of FairVote Washington, who will explain the format and rationale behind the RCV proposal to be introduced in the upcoming legislative session. Mark A. Smith, University of Washington political science professor, will provide research and perspective on both sides of the issue.

Register Here


January 19, 2023: 11:30 AM  The Agenda will include election of Directors along with a report to the Membership on the club’s finances, programs, and plans for the future. The Badger Forum at Noon will be “Around the World in 412 Days, with former Pasco Mayor Matt Watkins. Register Here


 (Registration is not yet open)

 February 23, 2023  A Special 90 minute Badger Forum on Homelessness in the Tri-Cities, including a presentation by former Tri-City Herald Publisher Rufus Friday, who now heads a homelessness program in Lexington, Kentucky.

March 2023 (Date tbd) Extremists in Our Midst