How does one encourage the public to test out a newfangled form of voting? Offering them sweet treats is as good a start as any.
And that’s the plan of the League of Women Voters of Arlington and Alexandria City, which on June 12 will host a reception on ranked-choice voting with the chance to “rank” a selection of desserts as if they were candidates.
“This is a fun way to learn about this important way of voting,” the organization said. “We will have some fun.”
(For those who for various reasons do not want to test out a selection of desserts, there also will be a vegetable platter available – items there will be ranked, too.)
Localities across the commonwealth have received permission from the General Assembly to enact ranked-choice voting, if they choose, for governing-body elections. In Arlington, that means for County Board and School Board races.
Any switch from the current winner-take-all election model would not be entirely foreign to many local voters; the Arlington County Democratic Committee has used it in its nomination/endorsement contests for a number of years, and Republicans at the statewide and congressional-district levels have turned to it for a number of their nomination contests.
The League of Women Voters is generally supportive of the concept.
“Ranked-choice voting allows more third-party candidates to run without being considered ‘spoilers,’ prevents expensive runoffs, cuts down on negative campaigning because candidates are competing for your second and third votes, and promotes diversity in representation,” Arlington League president Joan Porte said.
The reception will take place from 2 to 3 p.m. on the outdoor balcony of the Hilton Garden Inn in Shirlington, and will be followed by the organization’s annual meeting. (While observers are invited, voting will be limited to League members.)
The cost is $24.97 including service fee for the dessert event; there is no charge to attend the annual meeting.
June 7 is the deadline to register for the event. To register, see the Website at https://bit.ly/3z3Lcsa. For information on the local League of Women Voters, see the Website at https://my.lwv.org/virginia/arlington-and-alexandria-city.