Pierce County, WA Instant Runoff Voting
Type: Charter Amendment
Status: Passed by voters on 11/7/06
Official Ballot Title: The Pierce County Charter Review Commission has proposed an amendment to the Pierce County Charter implementing instant runoff voting for County elected officials except judges and Prosecuting Attorney. Voters will rank candidates in order of preference at the general election. No primary election will be held. Candidates for partisan office must obtain 25 voter signatures to qualify for the ballot. Major political parties may determine which candidate may use the party label. Shall this Charter Amendment be approved?
Explanatory Statement: Currently the Pierce County Charter provides that nominating primaries of all partisan offices shall be conducted in accordance with state law. Proposed Charter Amendment 3 provides that election of all county officials, except judges and the Prosecuting Attorney, shall be conducted using instant runoff voting. All qualifying candidates would appear directly on the general ballot, eliminating publicly financed primaries for affected county level offices.
This proposed Amendment gives voters the option of ranking candidates in order of preference. Instant runoffs would be conducted in rounds. In each round, each voter’s ballot shall count as a single vote for whichever continuing candidate the voter has ranked highest. The candidate with the fewest votes after each round shall be eliminated until only two candidates remain. The candidate then receiving the greatest number of votes being elected. The Amendment would require that to qualify for the ballot for partisan office, a candidate shall file with the auditor, no later than the end of filing week, petition statements supporting the candidacy with the original signatures of at least 25 qualified voters. It would also provide that the county central committee of each major party may determine which candidates may use their party label.