Burlington Charter Committee pushes for ranked voting

Published: Jul. 8, 2020 at 10:52 PM EDT
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Burlington voters may get a chance to decide on whether to bring back instant runoff voting in local elections.

That’s the voting method where you rank the candidates based on your preference. The Charter Change Committee voted 2-1 on Wednesday afternoon to ask Mayor Miro Weinberger to call forth a special election this November. If he agrees to do so, a separate ballot would be created to ask voters if they think Burlington should reinstate instant runoff voting in mayoral, city councilor, and school commissioner elections.

City Councilor Joan Shannon, D-South, the committee's chair, said she thinks it would be a better fit for the March ballot than November.

"I've always been a support of ranked-choice voting but I do think that because what we're talking about are only local election issues, it should be on our town meeting ballot in March because those are the voters that are going to be affected by this. Not the voters who just come out for presidential elections," Shannon said.

Burlington used ranked-choice voting from 2005 to 2009 before it was repealed in 2010.

If the question does make it to the ballot and voters approve it, it would then go to the Legislature for approval before the change could be implemented.