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Green Party of California

Senate holds key hearing on ‘more democratic' voting system; Green Party, consumer groups back ‘preferential voting'

For immediate release: Wednesday, April 6, 2005

Cres Vellucci, State Press Office, 916-996-1970,
Beth Moore Haines, GPCA Spokesperson, 530-277-0610,
Kevin McKeown, GPCA Spokesperson, 310-393-3639,
Sara Amir, GPCA Spokesperson, 310-270-7106,

SACRAMENTO (April 6, 2005) – New legislation that would create a more "democratic" voting system, eliminate expensive runoff elections and give voters more power at the polls won quick approval from the Green Party of California and consumer groups Wednesday in a key Senate hearing.

SB 596, authored by Sen. Debra Bowen (D-Redondo Beach), was heard in the Senate elections, Reapportionment & Constitutional Amendments Committee Wednesday. A final vote will be taken at a future meeting.

The measure would allow local governments to use "preference voting" – also called "instant runoff voting" for single-winner races and "choice voting" for multi-winner elections.

The use of "preference voting" – long a goal of the GPCA – promotes positive, issue-based campaigns where picking up second and third place votes can help candidates win an election. Voters rank their choices, and even if their first choice is not elected, they'll still not have "lost" their vote because they still have the chance to help elect their second or third choice.

"Preference voting is much more democratic and assures that all interests can have a place at the table. I look forward to seeing these systems adopted in Sacramento as well as in Davis and other California cities," said Chuck O'Neil, a member of the California Green Party Electoral Reform Working Group, who testified at Wednesday's hearing.

The Green Party of California has officially endorsed SB596. Other supporting groups include the Libertarian Party, Yolo Registrar of Voters, Common Cause, California for Democracy, Californians for Electoral Reform, Center for Voting and Democracy, Davis Citizens for Representation and Global Exchange.


The Green Party of California
P.O. Box 2828, Sacramento, CA 95812
Phone: (916) 448-3437