Assemblymember O’Donnell introduces legislation to ban Ranked-Choice Voting in California

For immediate release:

(SACRAMENTO) – Assemblymember Patrick O’Donnell (D – Long Beach) has introduced AB 2808 to ban the election system known as ranked-choice voting.

“Ranked-choice voting allows an election to be gamed,” said O’Donnell. “Our democracy and our recent elections may be under heightened stress and scrutiny right now, but our long-established voting system is strong. We are a model for the world. We must not abandon our voting principles to chase the election flavor of the month.”

Ranked-choice voting fundamentally alters the way voters choose their elected representatives. This new method of voting allows a voter to cast a ballot for more than one candidate by indicating a first choice, a second, or additional candidates by order of preference. Unless one candidate receives a majority of the vote, the ranked-choice system then calculates the votes using an unconventional and complex methodology.

In California, ranked-choice voting currently has a foothold in Albany, Berkeley, Eureka, Oakland, Palm Desert, San Francisco and San Leandro.

“Advocates make no secret of the fact that they want to see ranked-choice voting spread across the entire state,” said O’Donnell. “The election process can be slow and voters sometimes deliver surprises, but the current system where voters clearly select one choice works, even if it means conducting a run-off election. This is the best system out there and California should stick with what works and not follow fads that alter the voice of voters. Elections can be messy and the process takes time, but that’s how democracy works and we should not change it. The right to vote is a fundamental American value and should not be molded into something akin to playing a predictive video game.”

AB 2808 is expected to receive a hearing in a policy committee in the coming weeks.

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Assemblymember Patrick O’Donnell (D-Long Beach) chairs the Assembly Education Committee and the Assembly Select Committees on Ports and Goods Movement. He represents District 70 which includes the communities of Long Beach, Signal Hill, San Pedro and Catalina Island.