FairVote Washington responds to court ruling | Guest Column

Submitted by FairVote Washington.

After the San Juan County Council attempted to block four charter amendments from going to the voters, residents of San Juan County pushed back with a lawsuit.

Today, the San Juan County Superior Court ordered that the four charter amendments be placed on the San Juan County general election ballot. This is a resounding victory for San Juan County voters.

Sharon Abreu, former Charter Review Commission Member and one of the petitioners, said, “We are extremely pleased with Judge Skinner’s decision! It was disappointing that we were forced to take this action because of the secretive and irresponsible behavior of the County Council, but today justice has prevailed and all San Juan County citizens will have the right to vote on four critical amendments including ranked-choice voting and a Public Advocate!

Alyssa Koepfen of Smith & Lowney, PLLC, attorney for the petitioners, said, “We’re very pleased with the court’s decision today, which protects the citizens of San Juan County’s right to vote and condemns the County Council’s attempt to arbitrarily interfere with that right. The court ultimately agreed with our position that not only did the Council commit a legal error by failing to place the Commission’s proposed amendments on the ballot, but that it also acted inequitably by failing to say anything to the Commission for over a year even though it certainly knew the Commission was continuing to meet and would be submitting a second set of proposed amendments. This is a decision which promotes transparency and fairness, as well as the rule of law.”

One of the four charter amendments is for ranked-choice voting. RCV is a simple-to-use, nonpartisan reform that gives voters more choice, more voice, and more say in elections.

It is used by over 50 jurisdictions across the country and it creates more issue-based campaigns that better serve the voters.

RCV is a simple improvement to the way we vote. With RCV, you can rank candidates on your ballot in the order you prefer: 1st choice, 2nd choice, 3rd choice, and so on. If your favorite can’t win, your vote counts for your next choice.

Visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gq7N2hmX9FI&feature=youtube to learn more.