Oregon Reformers Launch More Efforts to Change Voting Process

STAR voting stands for “score, then automatic runoff.”

VOTE BY SCOOTER: May 2022 primary election in Portland. (Motoya Nakamura / Multnomah County)

On Aug. 9, election reform advocates filed two ballot initiatives for 2024 that would change voting in state elections from the current first-past-the-post process to what’s called STAR voting.

The acronym stands for “score, then automatic runoff.” It’s another version of ranked-choice voting, a concept that both the city of Portland and Multnomah County are considering as part of their charter reform efforts this year.

Chief petitioners for the initiatives, including state Rep. Zach Hudson (D-Troutdale), want voters to rate candidates in state races from zero to five stars, then winnow out the lowest scorers in a series of tallies.

Proponents say ranked-choice voting moderates partisan extremes and gives voters more opportunities to make their votes count.

“Choosing our elected leaders is the cornerstone of representative democracy,” Hudson says. “It’s important to do this in the best way possible and that represents a consensus of voters.”

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