City Council memo on “approval” and “ranked choice” voting

The Seattle City Council has scheduled a special meeting for 2:00pm on July 14th to take possible action on Initiative 134. Its options do not include enacting it directly into law at this point, not preventing it from appearing on the November ballot, but it will consider whether it wishes to place its own alternative on the ballot, ranked-choice voting, for voters to choose between the two (or reject both).

The Council’s staff has written a memo explaining the differences between approval and ranked-choice voting. It also lays out what precisely voters will be asked on the ballot. First, voters will be asked whether either of the two options should be enacted into law. Second, if yes, which of the two alternatives should be enacted (voters may only choose one). If a majority of voters say “yes” to the first question, then whichever receives the most votes will become law.

The memo also points out that the city’s election code prohibits elected officials from using city resources to campaign for or against a ballot initiative, and limits the public comments they can make about it.

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