#VERMONT LAWMAKERS INTRODUCE RANKED CHOICE VOTING BILL

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 13, 2019

VERMONT LAWMAKERS INTRODUCERANKED CHOICE VOTING BILL

Democrats, Progressives, andIndependents planning events and public outreach

MONTPELIER, VT – A coalition ofDemocratic, Progressive, and Independent lawmakers from across Vermont haveformally introduced legislation to make Vermont the second New England state toadopt Ranked Choice Voting for state and federal elections. The proposedlegislation is modeled after Maine’s landmark 2016 law, which has beensuccessfully implemented, and would adopt Ranked Choice Voting for primaryelections and congressional races.

“Vermonters need a better system for electing their leaders, one that more accurately expresses the will of the electorate,” said Rep. Randall Szott (D-Barnard). “Ranked Choice Voting is simple, fair, and easy, and Maine has shown that it works to give voters more voice in elections.”

HOW IT WORKS: Ranked Choice Voting gives voters the choice to rankcandidates in order of individual preference. Ballots are counted in rounds inwhich last-place candidate lose until one candidate reaches a majority andwins.

WHY IT MATTERS: Ranked Choice Voting eliminates vote-splitting between like-minded candidates and voters in races with more than two candidates, which are common in Vermont. It restores majority rule and gives voters more choice and more voice in our democracy to vote their hopes, and not their fears.

Click here for a short videofrom our friends in Maine explaining how RCV works.

Vermont House bill H.444, has been introduced and sent to the Government Operations Committee where it must pass prior to Spring of 2020 in order to be acted on by the Vermont Senate. If enacted, Ranked Choice voting would begin in the 2024 primary elections.

“We have all had the experience ofvoting for the candidate we dislike least, as opposed to the one we reallywant,” said Rep. Robin Chesnut-Tangerman (P/D Middletown Springs). “RankedChoice Voting reflects the real choice of the people putting democracy backwhere it belongs, in their hands.”

“Ranked Choice Voting is a common-sensereform that encourages all candidates to reach beyond their partisan andideological bases and appeal more broadly for support,” said Rep. Laura Sibilia(I-Dover). “Candidates are elected by a majority of voters and reflect more thewill of the people.”

Supporters of the bill have beengathering regularly to plan events, demonstrations and public outreach. A publicwebsite has been launched at www.RankedChoiceVt.comas well as a Facebook page @RankedChoiceVt and supporters are tweeting from@rankedchoicevt

A public information session at the Statehouseis planned for April 4th from 6-7:30 pm.

CONTACT:

Rep. Laura Sibilia | 802-384-0233 | lsibilia@leg.state.vt.us

Rep. Robin Chesnut-Tangerman | 802-235-2050| rchesnuttangerman@leg.state.vt.us

Rep. Randall Szott | 802-392-3039 | rszott@leg.state.vt.us

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