“It is now time for Michigan legislators to allow municipalities to use ranked choice voting.” Frank Knapp Jr., Director, Business for Democracy
November 8, 2023
See which Kalamazoo County ballot proposals passed in Tuesday’s election
KALAMAZOO COUNTY, MI — Voters across Kalamazoo County decided on five ballot proposals Tuesday, Nov. 7.
Ranked-choice voting passes
Residents of Kalamazoo voted in favor of changing how they elect the mayor and city commissioners in future elections, according to unofficial results.
A ranked-choice voting proposal on Kalamazoo ballots has unofficially passed, but it will not take effect unless state law changes to allow for it.
The ballot measure, which aims to allow people to rank their candidates in order of preference, was approved with 6,486 yes votes (71%) and 2,653 no votes (29%).
Ranked-choice voting forces a mayoral candidate to receive 50% of the vote to be elected. If no candidate reaches 50% in the initial count, the last-place candidate would be removed and those votes retallied.
Anyone who voted for the last-place candidate would then have their votes go to their second-ranked candidate instead. The process would repeat until a leading candidate reached 50%.
For commissioners — with three winners elected every two years — the process would call for each to meet an election threshold based on the number of candidates.
Ann Arbor and Ferndale have previously passed measures to make way for ranked-choice voting in their cities and Royal Oak and East Lansing both voted on it Tuesday and passed it as well.
“Instead of candidates winning with only a plurality of votes, sometimes a very small percent of all votes, ranked choice voting results in consensus and even majority-winning candidates,” said Frank Knapp Jr., Business for Democracy national director. “By letting voters rank their preference on the ballot, democracy is better served with the result.
“It is now time for Michigan legislators to allow municipalities to use ranked choice voting.”