Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Oakland instant runoff voting on Nov 2 - interview with voters - video

How did Oakland voters feel about instant runoff voting, also called ranked-choice voting? Here is a news update and also a video interview by an observer.

Oakland spent $3.51 per voter in targeted areas to educate them on RCV. Many voters were still confused.

Oakland voters flock to polls, struggle with ranked-choice voting
By Scott Johnson and Janis Mara. Oakland Tribune Posted: 11/02/2010

OAKLAND -- As Oaklanders cast their ballots today, one of the hottest subjects is not the issues and the candidates, but the method of voting, a new ranked-choice system used in the mayoral race.
Diana Toutjian, 57, a native Oaklander who attended Piedmont Avenue as a kindergartner, was baffled by the system. She didn't understand how it worked, and voted three times for the same candidate. This means her second and third votes won't count. "They should have had a red box there to explain what we were supposed to do," Toutjian said.

Most of the polling stations are staffed with workers who canvass voters about the system and help them if they have questions. Even so, some remained at sea about the process.

"I thought it was stupid," said Mary Johnson, 29, a graphic designer, who left the polling place at the East Bay Chinese Alliance Church confused by the whole experience. "I planned on coming in and voting for one person, and it forced me into putting someone else's name down. It felt sneaky."
"I guess it's all right," said another voter, Kitty Scott, a Department of Motor Vehicles employee, "But it's nothing to jump up and shout about. I read a lot, but did I understand it all? NO! Hopefully I made the right choice...."

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