Joel Barker

Multnomah Democrats article XI: Abuse of Power topics

2020 Platform Now Includes Abuse of Power Article

Your feedback is needed on the new platform draft

Author:  Kate Blumenthal with others

Do you see examples daily of abuse of power? It happens at every level of government, in our educational institutions, in corporations that ignore our laws, and by legislators who fail to protect our rights. It’s everywhere you look.

All power given to federal, state and local government is delegated by authority of the electorate – us. Power can be delegated for good reasons, but we must guard against hijacking. Private, unaccountable agendas and purposes that we the people did not intend seek our power. Abuses of power aid racism and collect power into the hands of the few.

For the 2020 Platform, Multnomah Democrats have proposed Article XI speaking specifically to abuses of power. This draft includes positions on death penalty, police use of force, education policy, and corporate power.

“I saw this as a way to address the double standard that some law enforcement officers and school employees are known to use against people they unfairly view as less deserving of their respect and care, for whatever reason – maybe skin color, maybe politics, maybe evidence of poverty. The worst is when non-threatening people are treated with violence –  forcefully taking children away from parents at our border, and people shot seemingly just for being black.

— Beth Woodward, an originator of Article XI

This article is an important addition to our Platform. There are ongoing study groups that focus on how we want to improve what conditions we want to see in the future. Article XI speaks to the violence, neglect, and disparities practiced under cover of institutional power. We see it as a source of racism, unjust incarceration, and harmful barriers to immigration. It speaks to the behaviors we see from the current White House and will guide our ongoing fight for equity and responsibility.

The 1st Draft of the 2020 Platform is now available and you can Download the draft platform here!

Bring Your Input to Our Platform. Please review the Article XI, Abuse of Power. 

This Draft is a working document. The Platform, Resolution, and Legislative Committee welcomes your feedback and ideas as we prepare for the Platform Convention this November. fill out the forms in the document to provide your input.

Planks

  • Are there planks that are too specific or too general?
  • What is missing?
  • What should should be moved to a more logical location?
  • What is redundant with other planks?

Legislative Action Items (LAIs)

LAIs are the directives of the article. They specify what legislation we will work to pass.

  • Can you suggest legislative action or other actions that would implement specific planks?

For example, what legislation would you suggest to correct or prevent abuse? This is our power that’s been stolen; together we can fight to bring it back.

You can also contact platform@multdems.org with your input.

Get Involved

The 2020 Platform is your document, my document, our document. Be part of the process.  From now until the convention in November, you can participate in crafting this important document.

The new Article XI will let our elected officials know that we want abuse of power to be an integral part of our political discussion. We will hold them accountable to what is in our platform. Help our elected officials by suggesting appropriate legislation or other official action that will address the abuses we all identify.

Keep an eye on the Platform Convention page for an opportunity to comment on specific sections and to join study groups!

Multnomah Democrats pass resolution calling for Non-affiliated voters to vote in Democratic primaries

At the Central Committee Meeting on September 12, 2019, the Multnomah County Democrats passed Resolution 2019-23, Open Primaries to Non-Affiliated Voters

Download the full resolution as a PDF

Resolution: 2019 –23 Open Primaries to Non-Affiliated Voters       

TO MAXIMIZE VOTER PARTICIPATION AND PARTY GROWTH BY ALLOWING NON-AFFILIATED VOTERS TO VOTE IN THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY PRIMARIES


Whereas the Unity Reform Commission of the Democratic National Committee (“DNC”), composed of representatives from Chairman Tom Perez and the Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton campaigns, issued its report stating that “it is critical that all eligible persons participate in the electoral process, including the Democratic presidential nominating process”, and that “the party process be improved to ensure maximum participation and Party growth”; and

Whereas the Commission strongly praised the 30 jurisdictions which allow non-aligned voters to participate in Democratic Party primaries, and strongly “favor(ed) same-day and automatic voter registration, which includes same-day party switching”; and

Whereas the Commission recommended that the DNC and the Party at all levels SHALL (emphasis added) use all means, including encouraging states to pursue litigation, legislation and “changing Party rules” to insure that the above goals be achieved; and

Whereas the Democratic Party stands for inclusion, participation, diversity and progress, and its electoral selection process should fully reflect those values; and

Whereas there are nearly 911,377 registered non-aligned voters in Oregon(about 50% of the total registered who are not eligible to participate in the Democratic Primary), and the average primary turnout of about 45%, and whereas demographic studies of this non-aligned group of voters show them to be disproportionately composed of the young, students, people of color, and the newly-registered; and that many other state Democratic Parties, including California, have opened up their primaries to non-aligned voters (who nationally now comprise 40+% or a plurality of voters); and

Whereas the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled[1] that political parties have an absolute 1st Amendment right to decide who can and can’t participate in their primary election, including non-aligned voters- and that assertion of such right does not require new legislation to be authorized.

Now therefore be it resolved that the executives, SCC delegation and DPO committee members of the Multnomah County Democrats will actively pursue and support a similar statewide resolution and encourage the DPO Chair to direct the Secretary of State to open the 2020 Democratic Party Primary Election to Non-Affiliated Voters before Feb 15, 2020; and

Be it further resolved that the Multnomah County Democrats encourage the DPO to engage in outreach efforts informing Oregonians that the Democratic Party invites non-affiliated voters to vote in the Democratic Party Primary Election in 2020.

Adopted by the Democratic Party of Multnomah County on September 12, 2019

Resolution submitted by: 

James Davis, Gary Leidtke, Bill Harris, Sara Wolk, Lisa Wolf, Lisa Ortiz, Ami Fox, Dan Goetz, Michael Smith, Julio Castilleja, Kyle Huth, John Knight, Natalie Bloodgood, GM Garcia, Ruth Jensen, Tom Fox-Sellers August 10, 2019

Send a simple cover letter and the resolution to the following: DPO Chair KC Hansen, DPO VC Pete Lee, DPO VC Michelle Risher, all SCC members

Letter: Please find attached a resolution passed by the Multnomah County Democrats at their meeting of September 12, 2019, in support of allowing non-affiliated voters to participate in our primaries in order to increase voter participation, encourage support for our candidates, and facilitate the growth for the Democratic Party.

Purposes of the Resolution and what it will resolve:

It seeks to engage non-affiliated voters in our primaries to encourage support for our candidates and capture information of potential Democrat-leaning voters for future party outreach. It lets party officials serving on the SCC from across the state know that Multnomah County Democrats support efforts to woo non-affiliated voters to our party and candidates.

Relevant 2018 Multnomah County Platform Democratic Party of Oregon and Planks:

Article IV (Election Integrity), Plank 6:

We oppose voter suppression and disenfranchisement in all its forms.

Arbitrary articles interfering with one’s ability to run/stand for office is a form of disenfranchisement. We normally focus on the voting side of the equation but being allowed to run is also unambiguously part of what we call the voting franchise.

DPO planks:

Article 5 (Good Governance), Plank 22:

We believe in the freedom to vote, access to participation in our democracy, removal of barriers to participation, debates in legislative races, and the ability to be more informed members of the electorate through vote by mail systems. We support the right to vote enshrined in the 15th Amendment.

Contact: 

Faith E Ruffing platform@multdems.org  

Resolution 2019-24 Climate Emergency

Multnomah Democrats pass resolution calling for declaration of a climate emergency

At the Central Committee Meeting on September 12, 2019, the Multnomah County Democrats passed Resolution 2019-24, Climate Emergency.

Download the full resolution as a PDF

Platform, Resolution and Legislation 

Democratic Party of Multnomah County 

Multnomah County Democratic Central Committee Resolution: 2019 –24 Climate Emergency 090319 

WHEREAS, the climate of planet Earth is rapidly deteriorating as evidenced by increasing reports of catastrophic fires, deforestation, desertification, droughts, shifting plant and animal habitats, methane releases from permafrost, rapidly melting glacial and arctic ice; massively destructive superstorms, ocean acidification and destruction of habitat now classified as an extinction event; 

WHEREAS, current laws protect the capitalist economic system based on extracting natural resources without regard for the sustainability of such resources in violation of the overwhelming majority opinion that life sustaining resources must be protected and sustained for the common good; 

WHEREAS, United States of America jurisprudence contains no body of law designed to protect life- sustaining natural resources, but instead favors the rights of corporate entities to extract those resources without regard for people or planet; 

WHEREAS it is the civic and moral duty of citizens of a democracy to work together to maintain the habitability of planet Earth; 

Now therefore the Democratic Party of Multnomah County resolves that 

1. We the People demand that our leaders and politicians take transformative action to address the climate crisis, transform the economy using democratic principles of law, and establish a Declaration of the Rights of Nature;

2. The State of Oregon declare a Climate Emergency which threatens the natural resources, economies, and public health of all Oregonians;

3. The State of Oregon legislate an Environmental Policy Act, requiring environmental impact statements for all actions that could significantly affect the environment.

4. The transition away from fossil fuels must be just and prioritize traditionally marginalized and underrepresented communities;

5. The state legislature pass concrete legislation that is in line with the imperative communicated by the scientific community;

6. The Democratic Party of Oregon declare support for the Blumenauer Climate Emergency Resolution, which can marshal necessary action on a national scale. 

Adopted on September 12, 2019 

Resolution submitted by Mary Hutchings, Debbie Gordon, Tracy Farwell, Pat DeLaquil, Ron Rhew, Ethan Scarl, Austin Lethbridge-Scarl, Catherine Thomasson. 

Send to Chair, Democratic Party of Oregon KC Hanson chair@dpo.org Send to Governor, State of Oregon Kate Brown Send to the following Legislators, President of Senate, Speaker of House Publish as a press release 

Summary and Purpose We believe that the future of our society depends on amplifying actions to protect our environment. (Multnomah Dems Preamble) This Resolution gives Oregonians a chance to assert leadership in demonstrating actions which taken at scale will preserve a habitable future in Oregon. 

Links to background information: Ecocide, definition: The heedless or deliberate destruction of our shared natural resources, our natural environment. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/aug/25/g7-cant-turn-blind-eye-to-amazon-ecocide- forest-fires-indigenous-tribes? 

Rights of Nature https://www.pachamama.org/advocacy/right-of-nature https://therightsofnature.org/ Rights of Nature is the recognition and honoring that Nature has rights. It is the recognition that our ecosystems – including trees, oceans, animals, mountains – have rights just as human beings have rights. Rights of Nature is about balancing what is good for human beings against what is good for other species, what is good for the planet as a world. It is the holistic recognition that all life, all ecosystems on our planet are deeply intertwined. Rather than treating nature as property under the law, rights of nature acknowledges that nature in all its life forms has the right to exist, persist, maintain and regenerate its vital cycles. And we –the people – have the legal authority and responsibility to enforce these rights on behalf of ecosystems. The ecosystem itself can be named as the injured party, with its own legal standing rights, in cases alleging rights violations. 

https://ballotpedia.org/State_environmental_policy_acts State environmental policy acts, which have been adopted by sixteen states, require that proposed state government actions (and in some states, local government or private actions) be evaluated for their potential impact on the environment or public health. For most proposed actions, state agencies prepare environmental impact statements that outline all potential environmental consequences of proposed actions, potential alternatives to the proposed actions, the possible unavoidable environmental effects, and the steps to be taken by state agencies to mitigate these effects and consequences. 

Trend towards loss of Arctic Ocean Ice https://twitter.com/rgatess/status/1159170708968222720

Thom Hartman interviews Guy McPhearson https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3SPiXBSjc-4 

Why Oregon must rely on leadership for a habitable future. thinkingthroughclimateinoregonjuly2019 [Engineers for a Sustainable Future — Oregon] 

Costs of Inaction CC Costs to OR 2018-0813 – climate-costs-natural-reource-economics.pdf

Cost-of- Climate-Change-Inaction-Report.pdf 

Climate Risk Disclosure Act of 2019 https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/116/hr3623 

Blumenauer Climate Emergency Resolution https://www.koin.com/news/environment/blumenauer-joins-sanders-aoc-for-climate-emergency-resolution/

Contact: 

Faith E Ruffing platform@multdems.org  

Join us for the Debate Watch Party and Central Committee Meeting September 12, 5-9 pm

Presidential Debate Watch Party and Monthly Central Committee Meeting September 12

It is the third Democratic Presidential Debate! Ten Candidates will share the stage. Join us and watch with the Multnomah Democrats

RSVP Now

Our monthly business meeting of Central Committee will follow.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Hollywood Senior Center

1820 NE 40th Avenue, Portland 97212

[Map]

  • Watch the Democratic Presidential Debate from 5-8pm
  • Stay for the monthly Central Committee meeting of the Democratic Party of Multnomah County 8-9pm

Schedule

4:45 PM Doors open.

5:00 PM Presidential Debate Watch (5 PM – 8 PM)

6:30 PM Registration and sign in for PCPs begins

8:00 PM Business Meeting begins

9:00 PM Scheduled end of Business Meeting

At 8pm, immediately following the end of the debate, the September Central Committee business meeting of the Democratic Party of Multnomah County, in which precinct committee persons (PCPs) are the voting members, will begin. Not a PCP? Stay and observe Democracy!

RSVP Now

Resolutions and proposals for consideration

We will also vote to fill vacancies for Precinct Committee Persons. Applicants are listed here.

Coming up

Donate and Apply for the Sue Hagmeier Young Democrat Award

Get ready for Comedy, Cocktails and Candidates, October 12!

Platform Convention date announced: November 23

Donate to Multnomah Democrats

Your donations keep the party moving! Thank you. 

The Democratic Party of Multnomah County strives to be welcoming and accessible to all. If you or someone you know require ADA or any other accommodations to attend one of our events please contact us to tell us how to make your attendance possible. admin@multdems.org

Christian Burgess, New Chair of Community Action Committee

Written by Gloria Geiser

“Simply bring some passion and energy and life into our collective volunteer work.”

Join Community Action Committee

As 2019 ends and the challenge of the 2020 elections draws near, we have new committee chairs with new energy and visions infusing the Multnomah County Democrats. One of these is Christian Burgess, new head of the Community Action Committee (CAC), which he views as a force for “fostering and sustaining a sense of community within the party.”

But the CAC is much more. Christian sees it as “the group within our party that presents opportunities to build alliances with other progressive community-based groups; engage with Democrats and Democratic voters across the county via street fairs, parades, and other community events; and simply bring some passion and energy and life into our collective volunteer work.”

Emphasizing empathy

Christian remembers watching the 1988 DNC convention when he was 15. As the convention went about the process of nominating Michael Dukakis, Christian thought these are my people. He recalls the excitement, energy, diversity, and the wonder of an inclusive, forward-thinking platform. As an Irish-American from a white, Catholic, Southern background, he credits Catholics for Kennedy and his diocese, which emphasized “the peace and love Jesus over the scary and judgmental one” for his identification with Democrats at an early age. This was strengthened after he came out in his late teen years, which further cemented his “sense of self and ‘other’ — of empathy and a desire to understand other lives and struggles….”

He followed through with this empathy to attend social work graduate school at Hunter College in New York City where he majored in Community Organizing and Planning. After graduation, he worked in program development and advocacy work, making the Community Action Committee a natural fit. In addition he has organized a local social group, Portland Queers and Craft Beers for almost five years since moving to the Portland region in 2014, which currently has 1300+ members and involves a great deal of creativity and logistics.

Presently, he is Director of the national Disaster Distress Helpline, a crisis hotline dedicated to supporting survivors and responders of natural and human-caused disasters struggling with distress or other mental health concerns. This project is 100% federally supported and administered by his parent company, the not-for-profit Vibrant Emotional Health. Since Vibrant also administers the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, of which DDH is a sub-network, he works in both suicide prevention and disaster mental health.

Mixing creativity and hard work

His vision for the Community Action Committee is “to create a vibrant, diverse group of committed folks who want to help our party realize its progressive platform via engaging with the communities we work alongside and serve.” To accomplish this, Christian is seeking individuals with creativity and a desire to work with other folks to support DLs/ADLs/PCPs in organizing participation in local neighborhood events. A love of details, logistics, and event planning are also helpful skills. Essentially, the Community Action Committee is about “rolling up your sleeves, working hard, while also having fun.”

In his spare time, Christian runs, is an avid reader of print media, loves attending live music concerts, travels when he can, practices yoga, and gets out into nature as often as possible. He tries to maintain a healthy balance of time alone and with family and friends.

Help to connect the dots

“All of the Multnomah Dems’ committees are inter-twined and essential, and the role that the Community Action Committee plays is connecting the dots,” said Christian, “between Fundraising, Communications, Campaigns, Platform, etc.—with the communities we stand alongside and serve as Democrats. “Hashtag ‘#ItTakesAVillage’”

Will you join Christian to “help us energize, expand and sustain our Village?”

Are you one of those people who have a knack for connecting people or organizing events? Do you want to help grow the reach and activity of the local Democratic Party in advance of 2020? Join Christian and the Community Action Committee. Email Christian: action@multdems.org

Join Community Action Committee

Multnomah Democrats Saddened by the Loss of Sue Bartlett

We lost a great friend and hard working Democrat. Sue Bartlett died Friday.

Along with activism for environmental causes and justice, Sue was involved in the KBOO community. She was running for KBOO board, a position she had previously held.

“Sue was one of the hardest working and most undersung Democrats. Always there to help, always ready to do the work. She didn’t want or accept any fanfare, was just there to do the job. She was a great Democrat and a great person,” said KC Hanson, Chair of The Democratic Party of Oregon.

“Sue was a beautiful person who believed in the power of us, all of us to make a difference. And Sue made a difference, whether she was organizing in radio, with the Dems or singing in the choir. Sue lifted us up and called us to be better. My world was better for having Sue Bartlett in it,” said Rachelle Dixon, Vice Chair 1 of Multnomah Democrats.

All of our hearts are hurting today.

Sue was killed by an SUV while riding her scooter.Today, Wednesday September 4, we will be joining St John’s Scooter Group at 40th and NE Tillamook, the site of the collision, to remember Sue. You are invited to bring flowers and say a few words. Another memorial is being planned.

Cover of the RIWG Racial Equity Lens

Racial Equity Lens: A tool for document review

Photo credit: Miguel G Moseler

As part of their ongoing efforts to increase and sustain the Democratic Party of Multnomah County’s racial diversity, the Multnomah Democrats Racial Inclusivity Workgroup (RIWG) has developed the Racial Equity Lens, a tool to help review documents for racial inclusivity within the party. The party moves towards the platform convention in November; that platform document is an obvious opportunity to apply the Racial Equity Lens. The Lens can be focused on any document created for internal or external audiences of Multnomah Democrats.

Ultimately, the goal is for MultDems’ documents to reflect their value of racial inclusivity.

Racial Equity Lens Introduction

Working in Consultation

It is important to note that the Racial Equity Lens cannot be a standalone document. It needs to be accompanied by consultation with the RIWG. People within MultDems seeking to apply the Racial Equity Lens should reach out to co-chairs GM García and Salomé Chimuku by emailing equity@multdems.org.

After first introducing key terms and concepts, The Lens presents questions that guide the application of a racial equity perspective on documents we create as a party. The first part asks about the people writing and reviewing the document. The second section guides an analysis of the text, including word choice, content, and power dynamics.

The Policy and Platform subcommittee of RIWG that developed the Racial Equity Lens includes Ruth Jensen, Sally Joughin, Bryan Lewis, and Beth Woodward, with Co-chairs Salomé Chimuku and GM García as key collaborators.

MultDems Racial Inclusivity Workgroup Mission

Increase and sustain racial diversity in ways that welcome, include, promote, and support people of color throughout MultDems. In addition to diversifying MultDems, expected outcomes include that MultDems – as an organization – will develop common knowledge, skill, and will to operate in ways that are racially inclusive and continuously reflective of equitable policies and practices.

Advocacy Training September 7

Interested in learning how to bring change at all levels of government?

The Legislative Liaison Group of the Multnomah Democrats are offering advocacy training at the Multnomah Democrats office (3551 NE Sandy Blvd., Portland). September 7 from 10am to 1pm.

Bring laptops or tablets to access online materials.

We need more trained advocates for societal change! This year at the Oregon Legislature, MultDems advocacy moved forward legislation on education, environmental, and other topics. The work continues and you can learn how to have an impact.

The Democratic Party of Multnomah County strives to be welcoming and accessible to all. If you or someone you know require ADA or any other accommodations to attend one of our events please contact us to tell us how to make your attendance possible. admin@multdems.org

Ethics and Grievance Panel Formation

August 18, 2019

The Democratic Party of Multnomah County, under the direction of the Chair, with the goal of achieving a more equitable and accountable organization, has created a special committee known as the MCD Ethics Panel which will carry out several important services to our community and its members.

First, the panel will accept, document, and review internal grievances from members of the party. The panel will investigate the grievances and provide recommendations to the Chair, executive committee or MCD PCP body, depending on the severity of the violation. While the panel will be focused on resolving future conflicts and incidents, members are encouraged to bring forward formal complaints from past conflicts/incidents if they a) have not reported the incident because of a lack of a formal system for submitting grievances b) have submitted a report to MCD leadership but feel the issue has been unaddressed or unresolved and c) the incident occurred within the past five years.

Second, the panel will offer guidance to the body about how to successfully adhere to the MCD Code of Conduct, Behavior and Office Use Guidelines. This may include seminars, training sessions, how-to guides, or reviews of institutional practices that may violate the Code. Our intention is to hold our community to these standards to ensure civility, respect, and fairness between our members.

As an organization that obtains its power from the collective action and support of its community, of particular concern to the Democratic Party of Multnomah County is whether any aggrieved individual or individuals have felt excluded, disenfranchised, or subject to intimidation or harassment to the point of no longer attending meetings or participating in events.

We seek to encourage ALL our members to participate and feel welcome at our meetings and activities. If you feel this basic tenet has been violated, we encourage you to submit a report to grievances@multdems.org and allow our Ethics panel to review it. Our ethics panel Chair, Anna Kanwit, can also be reached directly at ethics@multdems.org.

Details about the panel’s rules and procedures can be found by clicking on the following link:

Overview, Rules and Procedures for the Ethics Panel of the Multnomah County Democratic Party

We welcome any feedback regarding our Ethics panel and related policies, please send questions or comments to feedback@multdems.org.

Results from DPO Election Integrity Caucus Alternative Voting Pilot

Download the report here

DPO Election Integrity Caucus Subcommittee On Alternative Voting Methods

with Multnomah County Democrats –  June 13 and 15, 2019

Election Results

STAR VOTING:
69% Warren
31% Sanders

Total Scores and Averages: 
Warren: 338 (4.1 av.)
Sanders: 286 (3.4 av.)
Harris: 230 (2.8 av.)
Inslee: 217 (2.6 av.)
Buttigieg: 195 (2.3 av.)
Booker: 174 (2.1 av.)
Castro: 154 (1.9 av.)
O’Rourke: 147 (1.8 av.)
Klobuchar: 145 (1.7 av.)
Yang: 139 (1.7 av.)
Gillibrand: 138 (1.7 av.)
Gabbard: 116 (1.4 av.)
Biden: 109 (1.3 av.)
Hickenlooper: 71 (.9 av.)
Kerry: 70 (.8 av.)
Williamson: 68 (.8 av.)
Delaney: 67 (.8 av.)

Finalists:
Warren: 38 (45.8%)
Sanders: 17 (20.5%)
No Preference: 28 (33.7)

“CHOOSE-ONE” 
PLURALITY VOTING:
Warren: 32 (40%)
Sanders: 27 (33%)
Harris: 5 (6%)
Buttigieg: 4 (5%)
Biden: 3 (4%)
Inslee: 3 (4%)
Castro: 3 (4%)
O’Rourke: 1 (1%)
Williamson: 1 (1%)
Klobuchar: 1 (1%)
Kerry: 1 (1%)
Undervote: 1


RANKED CHOICE VOTING:
(ie. INSTANT RUNOFF VOTING)
Warren: 43 (52%)
Sanders: 28 (34%)
Harris: 11 (13%)

VOTING METHOD 
PREFERENCE SURVEY:
STAR Voting: 39
RCV: 17
Plurality: 13
No Preference: 5

Project Outline

On 6/13/19 attendees at the Multnomah County Central Committee participated in a pilot project to compare 3 voting methods: “Choose-One” Plurality Voting (our current system), STAR Voting, and Ranked Choice Voting. All three ballots contained the same list of candidates; the candidates running in the 2020 presidential democratic primary.

Attendees were each given an envelope containing 3 ballots and a survey on which method they preferred. After a brief explanation and a summary of some of the pros and cons from advocates of both alternative voting methods, they were asked to vote.

Preliminary Conclusions

In this scenario all three voting methods produced the same winner and the same top 3 candidates in the same order. 1st place: Elizabeth Warren, 2nd place: Bernie Sanders, and far below in 3rd place: Kamala Harris. What this tells us is that among voters polled there were only 2 truly viable candidates in the race. It’s interesting to note that both front-runners were strongly supported by each others’ voters. Sanders’ voters overwhelmingly scored and ranked Warren highly and vice versa. Though those two certainly split voters between then, there was no “spoiler” candidate strong enough to throw the election, and no other candidate strong enough to win, even with the majority divided between Sanders and Warren. Looking further down the ballot was where some interesting differences were observed. Joe Biden came in tied for 5th place with 4% of the vote in Choose-One Plurality Voting, but did much worse in STAR Voting where he came in a distant 13th place with 109 stars and a 1.3 star average. In contrast, Jay Inslee did much better in STAR Voting, coming in 4th place with a solid 217 stars, scoring close behind Kamala Harris. In Choose-One Plurality Voting, Inslee came in tied with Biden in 5th place with only 4% of the votes after Buttigieg, Harris, Sanders, and Warren. For those curious why Inslee did much better in STAR Voting but worse in Choose-One Voting, and why the opposite was true for Biden, it’s possible that Biden may well have gotten a boost in Choose-One from voters assuming that he was a front-runner while Inslee likely got underestimated. One advantage of STAR Voting is that voters don’t have to worry about who is “viable” and vote strategically. They can safely score the candidates as they choose.

Tabulation

All three voting methods were tabulated by hand on 6/15/19 by a team of volunteers at the MultCo Dems headquarters.

“Choose-One” Plurality Voting

Ballots were sorted into piles for each candidate, and the piles were counted to determine the number of votes for each.

Ranked Choice Voting

Ballots were sorted into piles by 1st choice votes. The candidate with the least number of first place votes was eliminated, and those ballots were redistributed to those voters next choice if possible. This process was continued through 9 rounds until Warren had a majority of remaining ballots. At a few stages in the elimination process there was more than one candidate tied for last place. A coin toss was performed (as is standard for official countywide elections) in order to determine who was eliminated first. There was discussion about whether it was better or more fair to eliminate both last place candidates at the same time, but as this had not been stipulated in advance it was determined to eliminate candidates one at a time. In the elimination process there was also a ballot which was “exhausted” meaning that that ballot was unable to be transferred over to another pile after their candidate was eliminated. That ballot wasn’t counted in the final round where the winner was determined.

STAR Voting

Ballots were counted in two rounds. First, a scoring round to determine the total scores received by all voters for each candidate. Then an automatic runoff round between the two highest scoring candidates. To tally the scores from all the ballots, one person was designated the caller and read the scores out-loud from the ballots. A group of volunteers had tally sheets for each score, 0-5, and when a number was called a tally was made on the corresponding sheet next to the candidate who received that score. Another person observed to ensure that the caller didn’t make any mistakes and also watched to make sure that the score was marked. Scores were then totaled by multiplying the score given by the number of tallies.. The two highest scoring candidates were deemed finalists who then advanced to the automatic runoff. For the automatic runoff the ballots were sorted into three piles: One for Bernie Sanders, one for Elizabeth Warren, and a “no-preference” pile for voters who had scored both finalists equally. Almost all voters who had scored both equally had given both finalists 5 stars.