Broomfield voters will decide in November if they want to implement ranked-choice voting in future elections. Broomfield City Council voted unanimously Tuesday evening to refer ranked-choice voting to the November ballot. If approved, voters would begin electing the mayor and City Council using ranked-choice voting beginning in 2023. Voters rank candidates on a ballot, and the candidate with the fewest votes in the first round is eliminated. Voters who chose the eliminated candidae have their second choice vote counted, and the process continues until one candidate has the majority of votes counted in the final round, the council memo explains.
Councilmember Deven Shaff, along with former Councilmembers Mike Shelton and Kevin Kreeger initially brought the concept forward in September 2018. The ordinance was finally passed on first reading June 22, and unanimously approved on second reading Tuesday.
“Over the past four years I have learned a lot about Broomfield’s elections and voting methods. I have concluded that there isn’t a perfect voting method,” Shaff stated in a news release from Ranked Choice Voting for Colorado. “At the same time, our current plurality voting method is the worst of all systems because it discourages participation and can result in misrepresentations of the electorate when there are more than two candidates vying for the same office.”
Ranked-choice voting “would provide opportunities for more candidate to freely run for office while encouraging positive, yet competitive campaigns where the winner is chosen by a majority of voters,” his statement continued.
If ranked-choice voting is passed by voters, recent legislation would ultimately decrease the cost of implementing ranked-choice voting in Broomfield and increase state resources Elections Manager Todd Davidson told the city council on Tuesday. It’s estimated implementing the voting method in Broomfield in 2023 would cost between $1.11 and $2.15 per voter, Davidson’s presentation stated.
If approved, Broomfield would be joining Boulder in using ranked-choice voting in the 2023 mayoral election. “Broomfield City Council has thoughtfully looked at what election system would benefit residents and determined that (ranked-choice voting) will be more beneficial than the simple plurality used now,” Ranked Choice Voting for Colorado Political Director Emma Donahue stated in the release. “We applaud City Council for their time and work on this issue.”