I’m looking at an election mailing from the Alameda County Registrar of Voters. It explains how to do “Ranked-Choice Voting”, which will apparently be in effect in Berkeley this year. With this system, you select three candidates, in order of your preference, and then … well, let the calculations begin.
The Registrar kindly included a sample ballot, so we can see how it’s done. There are three columns for six candidates for Mayor. (There are actually seven rows, for six candidates and any write-in candidate you’d like to include. I’ll ignore that for now.)
Here are the six candidates for Mayor of Berkeley on the sample ballot:
- Eleanor Roosevelt
- Booker T. Washington
- Diego Rivera
- Arthur Miller
- Shirley Horn
- Bruce Lee
My first impulse is to choose a write-in candidate, so I can vote for someone who is still alive.
It’s interesting how the makers of this ballot cover as many bases as possible, like a crunchy-liberal English professor trying to make their syllabi more diverse. Four men, two women. Two white people, two African-Americans, a Mexican, and a Chinese-American. Two people who worked on political matters, a painter, a playwright, a musician, and an actor/martial artist.
The question is, given those six choices, who would you vote for as your first, second, and third choices? I’d love to assign this to a writing class. Roosevelt would probably win simply because her name is at the top. She’d be my choice. I guess I’d go Roosevelt, Washington, Lee. Reading those names like that, I feel very patriotic.