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caption: An elections worker feeds ballots into a ballot sorting machine on Wednesday, October 28, 2020, at King County Elections in Renton.
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An elections worker feeds ballots into a ballot sorting machine on Wednesday, October 28, 2020, at King County Elections in Renton.
Credit: KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Seattle's ranked-choice voting system won't go into effect until 2027

Seattle voters have decided they want a ranked-choice voting system for future elections of mayoral and city council candidates.

Stephanie Houghton is the managing director of Fair Vote Washington, which campaigned for ranked-choice voting.

"Ranked-choice voting is a straightforward, easy improvement to the way that we vote right now," Houghton said. "That's been proven in places across the country, whether you're talking about Alaska, or Maine, New York City."

The latest election results show that 51% of Seattle voters want to see the system changed. Among the options put to voters for such a change, ranked-choice voting is strongly preferred (over the other option of approval voting).

Opponents of the shift argued it will be confusing, and that the current political culture is not a time to experiment with elections.

Houghton says that Seattle voters will have a few years to get ready for the change. Seattle's ranked-choice voting system won't go into effect until 2027.