LWVDE Alternative Voting Methodologies Study 2019-2021
On April 28, 2021, the LWVDE Board of Directors approved the following new action position for Delaware, to be reaffirmed by League membership at the LWVDE Convention in May 2021:
Voter Representation / Electoral Systems Position
Position in Brief:
Support electoral systems at each level of government that encourage participation, are verifiable and auditable and enhance representation for all voters.
LWVDE promotes an open governmental system that is representative, accountable and responsive. We encourage electoral methods that provide the broadest voter representation possible and are expressive of voter choices.
Encourage voter participation and voter engagement
- Encourage those with minority opinions to participate, including under-represented communities
- Are secure, verifiable, and auditable
- Promote access to voting
- Maximize effective votes/minimize wasted votes
- Promote sincere voting over strategic voting
- Discourage negative campaigning
- Implement alternatives to plurality voting
- Are compatible with acceptable ballot-casting methods, including vote-by-mail
LWVDE believes in representative government. The League supports electoral systems that elect policy-making bodies–-legislatures, councils, commissions, and boards—that proportionally reflect the people they represent. We support systems that inhibit political manipulation (e.g. gerrymandering).
The League supports the implementation of Ranked-Choice Voting in elections for representation at all levels of Delaware government, including school board, municipal, county, state, and national, for both primary and general elections.
LWVDE supports enabling legislation to allow local jurisdictions to explore alternative electoral methods, as well as supporting state election laws allowing for more options at both the state and local levels. With the adoption of any electoral system, the League believes that education of the voting public is important and funding for startup and voter education should be available. We encourage a concerted voter education process.
(Elements in the bold italic text are Delaware additions to the LWVUS position.)
- Academic experts, including UD Political Science Chair Dr. David Redlawsk.
- Municipal elections officials, most notably the Village of Arden, uses the ranked-choice "Hare method" to elect their Board of Assessors, and the cities of Dover, Newark, and Seaford.
- Democratic and Republican Party leaders, up and down state.
- Legislators from both parties in Delaware's General Assembly.
- Delaware Department of Elections officials, including Commissioner Anthony Albence and former commissioner Elaine Manlove.
- New Castle County: Jill Itzkowitz (Co-Chair), Sally Barclay, Maren Bertelsen, Kristin Brownlee, Luann D’Agostino, Letty Diswood, Pat Dougherty, Alan Evantash, Doug Manley, Melody Taylor.
- Kent County: Chris Asay, Kyra Hoffner, Sharon Morgan, Julie Price.
- Sussex County: Connie Jones, Ann Freeman, Jack Young.