Burlington to put ranked choice voting on March ballot

Published: Dec. 21, 2022 at 11:24 PM EST
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - Ranked choice voting will be on the Burlington ballot in March.

In ranked choice voting, if the person who gets the highest number of votes doesn’t reach 50%, the challenger with the least votes is automatically out, and then people’s second-place votes are counted in the next round.

City voters had abandoned the method a decade ago after the leader in a five-way race for mayor lost after two rounds of votes were counted.

Earlier this month, the voting system was rolled back out for a special election for City Council.

Now, Burlingtonians will decide in March whether to bring the voting system back for mayoral and school commission elections.

Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger thinks the method works well when there are many candidates, like in a presidential primary but he does not support it for mayoral elections.

“I don’t think there’s a need to in the Burlington mayoral general election where we have a provision for a runoff if no one achieves a strong plurality, so I think it’s a mistake I think it’s problematic for a mayoral, general elections, but voters are going to get to weigh in and decide for themselves,” said Weinberger, D-Burlington.

Town Meeting Day is March 7.

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