Patt Morrison for November 15, 2010

Election reform, local style: changes coming to the way you vote in L.A.

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Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images

Residents turn out to vote in mid-term elections at a polling place inside a luxury car dealership in Beverly Hills, California.

While campaign finance reform and tinkering with voting systems continues nation-wide, Los Angeles is taking its first small steps toward election reform with two measures that will soon change the way you vote. First off is a plan to institute a vote-by-mail system in the next available special election for a city council seat, a kind of test-run of the voting by mail which has been shows to dramatically increase voter participation in other cities and states where it’s used. Second is a measure going before voters in March of 2011 that will life the cap on the City’s Matching Fund account, injecting more public money into campaigns and ostensibly cutting back on the influence of special interests. Third, and the measure that could probably stir up the most controversy, is the idea of “ranked choice voting” that would enable L.A. voters to rank candidates on the ballot, a system that was just put into place in Oakland. Can the measures make elections in L.A. more fair and equitable or are you happy with the way you vote?

Guests:

Jose Huizar, L.A. City Councilman from the 14th District; author of the “Los Angeles Voters Bill of Rights”

Kathay Feng, executive director of California Common Cause


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