At our Statewide Monthly Meetings, we welcome new supporters and give updates on Ohio's progress toward Instant Runoffs with Ranked Choice Voting. We'll also talk about our defense against the RCV Ban Bill and the ideas and connections we brought back from the American Democracy Summit!WHENOctober 23, 2023 at 7:00pmWHEREZoom - RSVP below for the link
SB 137 not only bans Ranked Choice Voting – it takes power away from voters and lets Statehouse politicians dictate how our communities are run.
- A bill introduced at the Ohio Statehouse, SB 137, is part of a national disinformation campaign designed to prevent localities from making elections more free and fair with Ranked Choice Voting (RCV).
- As SB 137 acknowledges, RCV simply uses an instant runoff process to allow more parties/candidates to run, while requiring a majority to win.
- Ohio's current plurality-wins system is causing Ohioans to lose faith in democracy because it limits voter choices and fails to require a majority to win.
- SB 137 would effectively ban RCV at the local level by financially punishing communities for upholding majority rule. This power grab threatens the Home Rule Authority granted by the Ohio Constitution for local governments to make decisions based on their local needs and not a one-size-fits-all approach dictated by State Government.
Follow these links for more background by The Statehouse News Bureau and this editorial by the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
Key messages for public education and educating decision-makers:
- SB 137 is big government overreach: SB 137 violates the spirit of Ohioans’ right to Home Rule by letting Statehouse politicians and bureaucrats tell localities how to run their elections.
- SB 137 is Issue One all over again: Politicians are trying to take power away from voters and give it to themselves.
- RCV = majority rule and improved elections: RCV means candidates win with support from a majority of voters. It mitigates the “spoiler effect” and rewards more positive, more issues-focused campaigning.
- RCV strengthens winning candidates. Election winners can lead with confidence because they’ve won a majority of support. Some state parties like Virginia Republicans use RCV to elect stronger nominees with broader appeal.
- Voters – including Republicans – like and understand RCV: Over 80% of voters in Alaska & Utah found RCV “simple” and “easy” after using it. A majority of Virginia Republicans who used RCV in the 2022 primaries said they preferred RCV.
- RCV is a 100-year-old Ohio-grown voting system: Five Ohio cities used RCV in the last century before repeal efforts were led by corrupt politicians and party bosses. The bill's sponsor acknowledged that the Ohio Supreme Court ruled in 1923 that Ohio municipalities and charter counties have a right to use RCV, which is why the bill withholds Local Government Funds in order to "effectively prohibit" RCV through coercion.
- Ohioans – including conservatives – support Home Rule and small government: Classic conservatives believe Home Rule for local self-government is sacred because decisions impacting local communities should be made at the level closest to The People.
- SB 137's ban on RCV in municipal elections would harm urban Republicans: Major Ohio cities effectively have one-party rule, but RCV would allow more Republicans, Independents, and other candidates across the political spectrum to compete.
Republican opposition to similar bills in other states:
- North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum: "If we truly believe in limited government and local control, we can begin by honoring the boundaries, intent and spirit of home rule charters, especially when there is no evidence of any harm having occurred from trusting the residents of cities to have self-determination within the bounds of their home rule charters."
- Montana Rep. George Nikolakakos: “It’s very simple. It’s very easy… It’s passed in Maine. It’s passed in Alaska. It’s passed in states where people still have an independent mind like we do in Montana … Independent-minded people like Ranked Choice Voting... and we should not override local control for a type of voting that is basically just an instant runoff.”
- Montana Rep. Paul Green: “I don’t believe that I have the capacity to tell another local community how they go about their elections. For that I’m gonna be a No.”
Responding to misinformation:
RCV is simple, not confusing
- 92% of Minneapolis voters said RCV is simple.
- 85% of Alaska voters reported that RCV is “simple” in their first RCV election.
- 81% of Utah voters said RCV is easy in their first RCV election.
RCV is driven by the grassroots in Ohio, not outside interests.
- RCV has been supported for years by politically diverse volunteers in Ohio.
- Opposition to RCV is pushed by out-of-state special interests.
RCV is in line with the Founders’ intentions and “one person, one vote.”
- Our Constitution and laws have always left election rules up to states and municipalities. These are “laboratories of democracy,” and the way we’ve run elections has changed over the years.
- Our Founders intended to create a system of governance by consensus, which would be helped by majority-wins elections, and they warned against the two-party factionalism that evolved from plurality-wins elections.
- RCV has been upheld as "one person, one vote" every time it has been legally challenged. Your one vote may simply transfer to your next choice, like in a runoff, without having another election because you already list your backup choices. As the League of Women Voters explains, RCV actually upholds "one person, one vote" better than plurality-wins elections because your vote is more likely to help elect a winner instead of being wasted.
RCV results can be determined quickly and transparently.
- The majority of RCV jurisdictions – including Utah cities, Minneapolis, and San Francisco – release RCV results the night of or day after the election.
- Where results have been slower, it has been a result of state policy and choices made by local election administrators to allow time for absentee ballots to come in, which has nothing to do with RCV. The actual RCV tabulation takes seconds.
- RCV results can be counted or verified through a hand count. The Virginia GOP used paper ballots for RCV contests in 2021 and 2022.
Coverage of SB 137 in the media: Cleveland Plain Dealer article (7/21/23), Statehouse News Bureau article (7/25/23), WVXU analysis (7/26/23), Cleveland Plain Dealer editorial (7/30/23), Toledo Blade Editorial (8/1/23), NBC4 story (8/2/23)
Conservative pushback against attacks on RCV: Former Ohio Rep. Gene Krebs, Walter Olson of the CATO Institute, Kevin Kosar of the American Enterprise Institute, Matt Germer of the R Street Institute, Jonathan Bydlak of the R Street Institute, former State GOP Chairs Saul Anuzis & Stan Lockhart
Kyle Herman published Cleveland Plain Dealer Editorial: Ranked choice voting works in some other states. In Ohio, it’s fodder for a publicity stunt in In The News 2023-07-31 11:54:48 -0400
Kyle Herman published WVXU Analysis: Why would Republicans want to ban an election system that could help them? in In The News 2023-07-31 11:51:31 -0400
Kyle Herman published Statehouse News Bureau: Bill seeks to punish Ohio communities that pass ranked choice voting in In The News 2023-07-31 10:49:06 -0400
Kyle Herman published Cleveland.com/The Plain Dealer: Could ranked choice voting promote civil discourse? in In The News 2023-07-17 08:05:57 -0400
Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) isn't new to Ohio. RCV was used in five Ohio cities (Cleveland, Ashtabula, Toledo, Hamilton, and Cincinnati) between 1913 and 1960 before it became a victim of its own success – RCV led to more accurate representation for women and people of color, as well as a greater diversity of ideologies, before corrupt party bosses aligned with racist groups to repeal it.
Cleveland started using RCV for single-member ward seats in 1913 – then called the "preferential vote" like in Australia, where RCV has been used since 1918. In 1915, Ashtabula became the first city in America to use RCV with multi-member districts to achieve proportional representation. Good governance groups like the League of Women Voters helped expand RCV to other cities. Cleveland's first women councilmembers were elected with RCV, as were the first Black councilmembers in Cincinnati, Hamilton, and Toledo. In Cincinnati, Ted Berry rose to prominence as a councilman under RCV, but party bosses and the KKK conspired to repeal RCV in attempt to stop Berry from becoming Cincinnati's first Black mayor. RCV was ahead of its time then, but Ohio can bring back RCV to achieve fair and responsive representation.
Ted Berry was elected to Cincinnati City Council under RCV, but his popularity led to racial backlash repealing RCV. He remained a lifelong supporter of RCV.
Marie Wing, an independent reform candidate, was one of the first women elected to Cleveland City Council. No woman had ever been elected in Cleveland before RCV. Eight women were elected over the course of just five elections that used RCV. After repeal, no women were elected for 18 years.
James B. Simmons Jr. was the first African American elected to Toledo City Council. He and Toledo's Black community were some of the strongest supporters of RCV and proportional representation until RCV was repealed.
You can learn more about the history of RCV in Ohio from:
FairVote: Remembering the Legacy of Ted Berry
Ohio Libraries: Proportional Representation and Election Reform in Ohio by Kathleen L. Barber
Episode on "Ranked Choice Voting with Kyle Herman from Rank the Vote Ohio": audacy.com/podcast/united-she-stands-155ce/episodes/ranked-choice-voting-with-kyle-herman-from-rank-the-vote-ohio-efaef
Kyle Herman published Letter to the Editor by Rami Mohamed in the Toledo Blade in In The News 2023-05-23 18:27:06 -0400
Kyle Herman published League of Women Voters talk ranked choice voting in In The News 2023-05-23 18:21:02 -0400
Coverage by the Chronicle-Telegram of our talk at Oberlin with the League of Women Voters: chroniclet.com/news/350096/league-of-women-voters-talk-ranked-choice-voting/
Kyle Herman published City Club of Cleveland Youth Forum: "Choice Matters: What the Evolving Political Landscape Means for Gen Z" in In The News 2023-03-12 22:55:14 -0400
City Club of Cleveland Youth Forum: "Choice Matters: What the Evolving Political Landscape Means for Gen Z"
Our executive director spoke on the panel about how Ranked Choice Voting can give all voters, including young voters, more accurate representation. Watch the video or listen to the podcast: https://www.cityclub.org/forums/2023/02/23/choice-matters-what-the-evolving-political-landscape-means-for-gen-z
*For internships, please click here.
Organizer Job Description
Rank the Vote Ohio, a statewide nonpartisan nonprofit that promotes Instant Runoffs with Ranked Choice Voting (RCV), is looking for part-time Organizers to work on the front lines of a transformative education campaign to upgrade Ohio’s voting system to RCV and give voters more choice and more voice. Organizers will be part of a geographically and demographically diverse team responsible for increasing visibility and winning support for the RCV movement locally from across the political spectrum.
Hiring will be co-managed by Rank the Vote, which is a national organization founded by activists advocating for RCV adoption locally and across our nation.
You will focus mainly on leading in-person outreach, with some relational organizing and administrative coordination to support long-term grassroots movement-building for RCV in Ohio.
- Canvassing: Research and find events to canvass by knowing your local turf. Create and promote singular and recurring canvass events you have identified. Show up and lead canvasses or canvass solo, if needed. Recruit, train, and lead volunteers to join you in the field. Report metrics and new leads generated from canvass events. Be held accountable for meeting ambitious weekly and monthly goals for list-building.
- Administrative: Coordinate and attend in-person and virtual meetings as needed with statewide leadership and local chapter leaders (both staff and volunteers) to grow the supporter, volunteer, donor and endorsements lists.
Rank the Vote Ohio’s Executive Director
Part-Time, starting at approximately 10-20 hours per week, or negotiable depending on availability. Could grow based on performance, possibly into a full-time role if mutually agreed and if funding is available. Generally flexible hours, but some evenings and weekends required.
Compensation and Contract Terms
Part-Time: $18-20/hour or negotiable starting pay, dependent on candidate experience. Opportunities for increases depending on performance. Candidate must provide their own equipment and supplies (including internet access, computer, printer, car.)
How to Apply
Send your resume and cover letter to: [email protected]
To learn more about us, visit RankTheVoteOhio.org
Rank the Vote provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, age, disability, genetic information, marital status, or military or veteran status in accordance with all applicable laws. We don’t tolerate discrimination or harassment based on any of the above. We're committed to building a diverse leadership team. Women, people of color, and members of other historically underrepresented groups are strongly encouraged to apply.
Rank the Vote Ohio is establishing five regional chapters to raise local awareness and support for Ranked Choice Voting. Relational organizing is the most effective way to spread an idea like Instant Runoffs, so we're building teams of volunteers for local outreach -- like canvassing at events, speaking engagements, and house parties.
Our chapters meet monthly in-person and on zoom, and you can visit the pages below to connect with your chapter:
North-Central Ohio Hub (Mansfield & Nearby Counties) - In progress. Contact Tim Grady ([email protected]) to help!
The way we define Ohio's regions is flexible, but roughly corresponds with this map:
I support Instant Runoffs with Ranked Choice Ballots in Ohio!2,116 signatures
Instant Runoffs with Ranked Choice Voting simply require a majority to win, while giving all voters more choice and more voice so that you can vote for your true favorite without feeling like your vote is wasted. When you have backup choices, more parties and candidates can run because you don't have to worry about "spoilers" and you can have more confidence that your vote will actually matter. Political toxicity decreases when candidates have to focus on problem-solving and finding common ground to win a majority instead of simply attacking the "other side" as the greater evil. So you can vote your hopes, not your fears!
Our team is working with allies on potential ballot language, but in the meantime we need to build our list to show the political class that Ohioans want Ranked Choice Voting in Ohio. Please sign here and spread awareness by inviting your friends!