Albuquerque City Council still split over new voting system
June 04, 2019 06:12 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The Albuquerque City Council has not made a decision yet on whether to adopt ranked-choice voting for municipal elections. Monday evening they deferred the decision until June 17.
Ranked-choice voting is a system that allows voters to rank candidates instead of just picking one candidate.
The City Council is split – there are competing ideas. One idea would have the council change Albuquerque's election system to ranked-choice voting before the November election, but City Councilor Don Harris thinks voters should be able to decide what election system to use.
"I don't agree with taking this decision away from the voters," Harris said. "If we're going to empower voters, we should empower them to decide how to vote, so I won't be supporting this."
Changing the election system so close to an election could also have consequences.
"People think differently and candidates compete differently when they're in a ranked-choice situation," said Lonna Atkeson, a political science professor at UNM.
While Albuquerque elections already require a candidate to get over 50% of the vote, Atkeson said ranked-choice voting would save money on run-off elections.
"This would eliminate the cost of that second contest," she said.
Last year's exit polls showed that people were divided on ranked-choice voting, with 51% in favor and 49% against.
Updated: June 04, 2019 06:12 PM
Created: June 04, 2019 05:28 PM
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