I read in the January 25 Westsider that the Westminster City Council is considering eliminating run-off elections for mayor:
If the top candidate does not receive 40 percent [under the current system], the top two candidates face off against each other during a run-off election. This process requires a second election, costing about $100,000. . . . Resident Tim Kauffman told council [at a January 14 meeting] the run-off election is important because the mayor position needs widespread community support.
The council will decide the measure to eliminate the run-off election on January 28, the paper reports.
But the city could avoid both problems—a costly run-off and a low-popularity mayor—simply by instituting approval voting, a process I wrote about a couple years ago.
Here’s how it would work. For the mayor’s election, voters would see all the candidates’ names on the ballot. Voters could vote for one or more of these candidates—as many as they “approved” of. Then the candidate with the highest vote total wins.
This guarantees that the winner has broad support, yet it saves the cost and hassle of a run-off election. What’s not to like?