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File #: 21-1409    Version: 1 Name: 8/2/21 Resolution to Approve Ranked Choice Voting
Type: Resolution Status: Passed
File created: 8/2/2021 In control: City Council
On agenda: 8/2/2021 Final action: 8/2/2021
Enactment date: 8/2/2021 Enactment #: R-21-300
Title: Resolution to Order Election and to Determine Ballot Question for Charter Amendment to Allow for Ranked Choice Voting (7 Votes Required)
Sponsors: Lisa Disch, Julie Grand, Jen Eyer

Title

Resolution to Order Election and to Determine Ballot Question for Charter Amendment to Allow for Ranked Choice Voting (7 Votes Required)

Staff

Reviewed by:                     Matthew P. Thomas, Assistant City Attorney

Body

Whereas, Ranked Choice Voting enhances the democratic process by allowing for more choice for voters, providing more information about voter preferences, representing a broader spectrum of views, and promoting majority support;

 

Whereas, Legislation has previously been introduced in the State House of Representatives that would allow the City to provide by Charter that City Officers be elected by Ranked Choice Voting; and

 

Whereas, It would be beneficial to have the enabling Charter language in place should the legislation pass, so that the City can proceed with Ranked Choice Voting immediately, without the possible expense of calling a special election.

 

RESOLVED, That the Ann Arbor City Council proposes that the City Charter be amended by modifying Section 13.4 and 13.5 to read as follows:

 

Primary Elections

SECTION 13.4.

(a) A City primary election for the purpose of nominating such officers of the City as this Charter provides shall be held on August 8, 2017, and in succeeding years on the first Tuesday following the first Monday in August as provided for in Section 12.4. If, upon expiration of the time for filing nomination petitions for any elective office, it appears that petitions have been filed for no more than one candidate for the office from each political party nominating candidates therefor, no primary election shall be held with respect to the office. The candidates receiving the highest number of votes of their respective parties at any city primary election shall be declared the The nominees for election to the respective offices for which they are candidates shall be selected pursuant to Section 13.5. As to any office with respect to which no primary is necessary, persons named in petitions as candidates for election to the office shall be certified by the Clerk to the Election Commission to be placed upon the ballot for the next subsequent regular election under the party heading set forth in the nomination petitions for the candidates.

(b) No person who is a sticker candidate for nomination, or whose name is written in on the ballots at any primary election, shall be declared nominated unless that person receives at least fifty votes.

Election Procedure

SECTION 13.5.

(a) Except as otherwise provided herein, the general election laws of the State shall control, as nearly as may be, all procedures relating to registration for and to the calling and conduct of City elections.

(b) In the event State law allows for the use of Ranked Choice Voting for the election of City Officers, the candidate receiving the majority of votes shall be declared the winner according to the following guidelines:

(1) The ballot shall allow voters to rank a number of choices in order of preference equal to the total number of candidates for each office.

(2) If a candidate receives a majority of the first choices, that candidate must be declared the winner.  Subject to subsections (3) and (4), if no candidate receives a majority of the votes, the candidate, or candidates, who received the fewest number of first choices must be eliminated and each vote cast for that candidate must be transferred to the next ranked continuing candidate on the elector’s ballot.  Except as provided in subsection (5), this process will continue until a candidate receives a majority of votes.

(3) If the total number of votes of the 2 or more candidates credited with the lowest number of votes is less than the number of votes credited to the candidate with the next highest number of votes, those candidates with the lowest number of votes must be eliminated simultaneously and their votes transferred to the next ranked continuing candidate of each ballot in a single counting operation.

(4) If an elector skips a rank, the elector’s vote must be transferred to the elector’s next ranked choice.

(5) If after the ranked choice voting process described in subsection (2) is complete and there is a tie of 2 or more candidates, the tie must be resolved as provided by State law.

(6) If the voting system, vote tabulation system or similar or related equipment used by the City cannot feasibly accommodate choices equal to the total number of candidates running for each office, the Clerk shall limit the number of choices a voter may rank to no fewer than three.

(c) In the event State law allows for the use of the Ranked Choice Voting guidelines found in Section 13.5(b) for the election of City Officers, and until such time as voting machine equipment capable of implementing Ranked Choice Voting is available and obtained by the City of Ann Arbor, and such equipment is approved by the Election Commission, the candidate with the highest number of votes in their respective race shall be elected or nominated.

 

RESOLVED, That November 2, 2021 is designated as the day for holding an election on the proposed Charter amendment;

 

RESOLVED, That the City Clerk shall transmit a copy of this resolution to the Attorney General and the Governor of Michigan and shall perform all other acts required by law for holding the election;

 

RESOLVED, That the proposed Charter amendment shall appear on the ballot in the following form:

 

ANN ARBOR CITY CHARTER AMENDMENT

RANKED CHOICE VOTING FOR THE ELECTION OF CITY OFFICERS

 

Shall the Charter be amended to provide that the Mayor and City Council members are to be nominated and elected by a Ranked Choice Voting method when it is authorized by State Law?

 

                     Yes                                                               No

 

RESOLVED, That the proposed Charter amendment and proposed ballot question shall be published in full in the Washtenaw County Legal News;

 

RESOLVED, That the City Clerk is directed to publish the proposed Charter amendment in full, together with the existing Charter provisions amended as required by law and in accordance with resolution of Council, and to post the proposed Charter amendment in full together with the existing Charter provisions to the City’s website; and

 

RESOLVED, That if the amendment is adopted, it shall take effect on January 1, 2022.

 

Sponsored by:  Councilmembers Disch, Grand and Eyer