Rank the Vote Ohio is a statewide nonpartisan nonprofit to improve election integrity through Instant Runoffs with Ranked Choice Voting (RCV). Founded by a politically diverse group of volunteers in 2020, Rank the Vote Ohio educates fellow Buckeyes about RCV and its benefits in order to achieve our mission of “greater choice, a stronger voice, and a representative democracy that works for all Ohioans." Through in-person and online outreach, including regional chapters, we're increasing our volunteers, donations, and endorsements to show that Instant Runoffs are possible in Ohio. We've gained thousands of supporters, including bipartisan support in the Ohio Statehouse, but RCV will probably require a ballot initiative like in other states. We need to keep raising awareness and support so that a ballot initiative can be possible in 2024!
As of March 2023, Rank the Vote Ohio has more than 4,400 registered supporters from all over our state. You can add your name here.
Executive Director: Kyle Herman co-founded Rank the Vote Ohio in 2020 and volunteered in different capacities until he was hired to serve full-time with the help of our national partner Rank the Vote USA in December 2022. Kyle's previous experience includes managing pro-democracy programs in Iraq and Lebanon, responding to letters for the White House Office of Presidential Correspondence, and teaching high school history and civics. A proud son of Stow, Ohio, Kyle earned degrees from Ohio Wesleyan University and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
Chief Operating Officer: Denise Riley grew up in North Ridgeville, Ohio. She received her bachelor’s from Kent State University in nursing. In 2015, she was elected to the School Board of Switzerland of Ohio Local School District, and served for 4 years (2 as board president). Denise joined Rank The Vote Ohio in 2020 as a volunteer for the Volunteer Mobilization and Onboarding Team and continues to serve as a volunteer, now overseeing general operations and leading Team Leads and All-Volunteer Meetings.
Volunteer Onboarding Lead: TJ Parker joined Rank the Vote Ohio in 2021 as a way to live their values of civic participation and betterment. Parker started on the Volunteer Onboarding and Mobilization Team, and now leads the Volunteer Onboarding function. With a background in analysis, process improvement, and presentation, they bring the organization the ability to interface with many skillsets and spot opportunities for growth. "RCV really is a simple upgrade! It produces better results without making voting any harder than it already is."
Volunteer Mobilization and Phonebank Lead: Dani Morris discovered Rank the Vote Ohio in 2022 and knew immediately that Ranked Choice Voting was something that could help Ohio immensely. As a longtime poll worker and activist with various organizations, she understands that it takes a clear vision and strong network-building to achieve our goals. A lifelong Columbus resident, she earned her bachelor's degree in Journalism from The Ohio State University. Dani has mainly volunteered with the Volunteer Mobilization and Onboarding team and is an active member of the Central Chapter. "RCV empowers people to vote their conscience without worrying about spoiler candidates or whether a candidate is considered electable."
Central Ohio Chapter Lead: Grace Leng started volunteering with Rank the Vote Ohio after the 2020 Election, with hope to ease polarization and to create more meaningful choices. Grace has been civically active in the Ohio Asian American community and has led or supported efforts increasing awareness of Asian American history, promoting voter participation, and community services. Professionally, Grace is a data scientist. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Investment Economics and a Master’s in Applied Economics from the University of Cincinnati. She has been calling Columbus home for 17 years. Grace believes that “Ranked Choice Voting is the common sense solution to the dysfunction of our current voting system. It provides the right incentives to politicians to cooperate with each other and replace partisan squabbling with programmatic solutions to real issues.”
Regional Organizer for Central Ohio: Debbie Schaffner grew up and currently lives in Baltimore, Ohio. She received her Bachelor's from The Ohio State University. Debbie currently serves on the Village of Baltimore Village Council and the Basil Joint Fire District Fire Board. She is also active as an AARP volunteer, advocating for public policies that benefit Ohioans 50 and over. Debbie joined Rank The Vote Ohio in January 2023 as a volunteer and now continues to volunteer alongside her duties as Regional Organizer. "I'm behind Ranked Choice Voting because it ensures that officeholders are elected by a majority, voters are more informed by non-toxic campaigning, and third party candidates receive a fair chance."
Regional Organizer for Central Ohio: Liliana Vela started her RTVO journey as a volunteer and a few months later was hired as one of the organization's first Regional Organizers. She brings a wide range of political organizing experience to the team, including previous work on other ballot initiatives, voter contact and education campaigns, voter registration campaigns, and nonprofit fundraising. A summa cum laude graduate of The Ohio State University, Liliana earned her B.A. in Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies. She fights for Ranked Choice Voting because she believes that "our election system as it currently operates is broken, and divisive extremist candidates shouldn't be able to rely on a small percentage of votes to get them elected."
Northeast Ohio Chapter Lead: Vera Buk-Bjerre is a retired clinical psychologist in Kent, Ohio. She has volunteered for various candidates and causes, phone banking and canvassing. Concerns about debilitating political polarization prompted her to volunteer in November 2022 and become the RTVO Northeast Ohio chapter lead. Vera believes that "ranked choice voting will result in better candidates who are less extreme, allowing Congress to function and implement solutions to pressing issues."
Regional Organizer for Cleveland: Michelle B. Jackson is a community organizer and ACTivator residing in Cleveland’s Buckeye-Shaker neighborhood. Her driving mission is to strengthen democracy by mobilizing people to take a more pronounced role in civic and electoral endeavors. Over the past six years Michelle has worked on both political campaigns and grassroots, nonpartisan initiatives including voter registration and education projects. In 2021, she helped to assemble a citywide alliance that ultimately restored public comment at Cleveland City Council meetings for the first time in nearly 100 years. Most recently she served as an organizer with PB CLE: Participatory Budgeting Cleveland, a broad-based coalition advocating for a “People’s Budget.” As with participatory budgeting, Michelle sees RCV as a democracy building tool that has the potential to get more voters to the polls. "The promise of RCV is that it favors the people’s choices over those of a political party through a process that is more democratic for both voters and candidates."
Regional Organizer for Northeast Ohio: Thornton Taylor worked as a grassroots movement-builder in five states before settling in Cleveland, Ohio. From tenant organizing to mobilizing for indigenous rights to mutual aid efforts, he is passionate about collective struggle and democratic participation. Thornton is excited to join Rank the Vote Ohio as a Regional Organizer because he believes that faith in the US electoral system depends on giving voters more choice, and on fostering a confidence that their votes count. Originally from Australia (which has used Ranked Choice Voting for more than a hundred years), Thornton has seen the benefits of RCV firsthand, and he wants to make RCV a reality for his Cleveland community. "In requiring candidates to win the support of the majority of voters, ranked choice voting more accurately represents the electorate and incentivizes candidates to provide solutions that work for the greater community and not just special interests."
Regional Organizer for Northwest Ohio: Josephine Schreiber is a Northwest Ohio native and currently resides in Toledo with their family. After spending six years as a freelance writer, Josie moved to the world of politics in 2022, working as an organizer during the midterm election season. Before their career change, Josie was (and still is) active in various pro-democracy and human rights organizations in the area as a volunteer. When Josie isn’t working to organize Northwest Ohio, you can find them exploring coffee shops in the area or out on one of the many metropark hiking trails. “I support Ranked Choice Voting because I believe every vote matters. A person shouldn’t be made to feel as if their vote was wasted because they chose to go with what they truly believe in.”
Regional Organizer for Southeast Ohio: Dennis Lambert grew up in a household where his mother didn’t vote because she didn’t believe it made a difference. His dad was a very active and interested voter. The political spectrum was mostly focused on the rights of workers and personal freedom and liberties. One of his favorite quotes about politics is, “Even if you don’t pay attention to politics, your boss, your bank, and your landlord will.” Dennis believes that the best government is one that is listening to the people, but our government is listening to the political parties that are being led by their funders. "I was first interested in politics in 1984 when my school held a mock election for president with all the students participating and all the candidates on the ballot. That seemed more fair than our current system. I support Ranked Choice Voting because the people need more power in their votes."
Southwest Ohio Chapter Lead: Jim Warner is a retired architect living in a life-care retirement community in the College Hill community in Cincinnati. He is part of a group of seniors, who are his neighbors, working to address major issues facing our country, including poverty and threats to democracy. Jim is a watercolor artist (www.jwarnerart.com) with 2 ragdoll cats. "I think Ranked Choice Voting is a realistic and viable way to give every American a way to make their vote count and get a true democracy with majority votes that reflect our beautiful diverse peoples and make a more perfect Union."
Regional Organizer for Southwest Ohio: Kalesha Scott is a graduate from Central State University receiving a Bachelors of Arts in Political Science and is currently pursuing a Masters of Public Administration from Wright State University in Dayton. She has been organizing professionally for three years and volunteering in the organizing space for over seven years. Kalesha has a passion to educate and empower disenfranchised people. She is deeply rooted in this work to help build power for communities that have had their rights taken away for generations. "I support Instant Runoffs with Ranked Choice Voting because every state deserves to have fair elections so that we can have representation that truly reflects the people."
Regional Organizer for Southwest Ohio: Andi Van Sickle moved to Dayton, Ohio in 2010 and has been active in the community, working in leadership roles for a variety of non-profit organizations. Over the last 10 years she has organized a diverse range of large and small events, including race directing, educating, and holding active roles in various groups and campaigns at both local and national levels. She believes “Ranked Choice Voting not only gives voters access to more candidates on their ballot, but ensures that the winning candidate has the majority support from their constituents.”
Regional Organizer for North Central Ohio: Tim Grady grew up in Richland County, Ohio. He is a recent graduate of Stark State College and Ohio University with a degree in Economics. Tim is a long-time advocate of choice in politics, believing there should be more candidates on the ballot and more people should run for office. “Ranked Choice Voting removes one of the biggest barriers to new candidates and new voices in government by eliminating fears of being a ‘spoiler’.”
Voter Advocacy Liaison: Kristen Beireis has volunteered for Rank the Vote Ohio since its founding in 2020 and has served in several leadership positions. She currently serves as the Voter Advocacy Liaison supporting statewide coalitions working on voter advocacy and reform. Kristen's background is in marketing, nonprofit programs, volunteer coordination, and community organizing. Residing in the Dayton, Ohio area, you can also find her singing in choir, performing in community theatre, and hiking. Kristen believes "Ranked Choice Voting is the key to bringing Ohioans together. When voters feel their voices are heard at the ballot box and campaigns are about policy instead of divisiveness, we can find common ground, and so can our representatives."
Tech & Data Lead: Troy Carter has been an IT professional for 20 years, including 15 in IT management. He has two children that mean the world to him, and they are the reason he decided to get involved in making our world better. Troy learned about Ranked Choice Voting years ago and started to keep an eye on the local activist groups, and when he saw momentum building with Rank The Vote Ohio in 2022, he knew the first step in making a difference was to show up to a meeting and see what they were doing. From that single meeting, he got to meet some really great people that are doing some really great things. Now he's looking to take all of the lessons he's learned in working in large enterprise-level IT shops and bringing some of those best practices to Rank The Vote Ohio. "I have learned that the best way to improve a system is to focus on repeatable systematic policy improvements. Ranked Choice Voting provides every voter with more options, removes the plurality-winner problem of our current voting system, and brings people closer together instead of pushing them further apart. Ranked Choice Voting gives the population a larger voice to speak to our representatives."
Policy & Research Lead: Bryce Dawson is a third-year student in the combined Master of Public Administration & Bachelor of Public Policy Analysis program at The Ohio State University. Bryce grew up in Delaware, Ohio, where he attended BS Troop 61 and achieved the rank of Eagle Scout. He applied to be Rank the Vote Ohio's first intern after hearing about it at WOSU's Dialogue on Rethinking Elections in November 2022. Bryce advocates for Instant Runoffs because "Ohio voters deserve to have their voice heard; Ranked Choice Voting offers the opportunity to lower the political temperature and elect candidates who more closely reflect voter preferences."
Communications Lead: Rami Mohamed never wanted to get involved with politics, but after watching our representatives become less representative and accountable decided to help change that. He learned about Rank The Vote Ohio in 2022 and decided to start doing everything he could to spread the word and make Instant Runoffs a reality again in Ohio. Rami's work in electrical engineering, logistics, merchandise, animal care, and natural resources conservation, research, and monitoring led him to understand how important it is to be able to communicate with individuals from a diverse set of backgrounds and understanding. "I want the state that I love to have representatives that accurately represent the voices and choices of all Ohioans, and RCV gives that power to the voters! It's simple, it's easy and it gives the power back to the people so that our government works for us. The history of RCV in Ohio, especially in my hometown Toledo, shows not only is RCV nothing new to us Ohioans but that it can truly benefit us all!"
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