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Voters should be able to rank candidates

May 21, 2013

As the City Council considers eliminating Burbank's primary election ("Burbank ponders dropping primary," May 18) let's think beyond a choice between primary/run off and general election and consider ranked choice voting as an effective alternative.

Reducing the current election cycle would save money. More importantly, it would reduce the campaign expenditures needed to be successfully elected. Given the increasing outside money in recent Burbank elections, reducing the pressure on candidates to raise money would certainly benefit Burbank.

In the traditional single general election, with numerous candidates the vote is diluted and perhaps only 10% of the vote is needed to win. This kind of outcome is really disturbing. Truly, one wants the assurance that the council members who are making decisions for Burbank are there because a majority supported them.

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Ranked choice voting is a viable alternative election system in which voters rank the candidates in order of preference rather than simply selecting a single candidate. The Charter Revision Committee, of which I was a member, seriously considered recommending ranked choice voting and found many benefits in the system. I would urge the council not to rush to a judgment, but to investigate this alternative which could have many benefits for Burbank.

Chris Carson

Burbank

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