Olympia, Wash.—July 2, 2018—On Saturday, June 30, Counted, a nonpartisan voting reform organization, held a candidate forum and straw poll for Washington's 10th Congressional District at Capital High School in Olympia.
All four campaigns participated. Independent Centrist Nancy Dailey Slotnick spoke first, emphasizing unity, moderation, and educational equity. Republican Joseph Brumbles focused on cutting "socialistic programs" (sic) in the federal government, securing schools with armed guards, and his personal struggles with family court.
Incumbent Democrat Denny Heck determined he would be unable to attend in early June and sent his campaign manager James Rolph in his stead. Rolph highlighted Heck's support for raising the minimum wage, improving access to education, and protecting the environment. He expressed frustration that the "Republicans in control of Congress are not all on board with believing that global warming exists in the first place."
Independent Progressive Tamborine Borrelli wrapped up the candidate forum with a critical, impassioned speech, saying "We have representatives now that say one thing out of one side of their mouth and do quite another when they go to vote. On deregulation of banks, our current representative has voted seven times to deregulate Wall Street. ... The bottom line is, if we do not put in Congress those who are willing to stand up in the face of Goliath, to bring these issues that most of us care about, we will always get what we always have, and that is not what any of us need."
Following the candidate forum, attendees who were also registered voters in the 10th CD participated in a nonbinding alternative voting method straw poll, voting for the same set of candidates on three ballots: a plurality ballot, an approval ballot, and a score ballot.
Plurality voting, also called first-past-the-post voting, limits voters to voting for only one candidate. Plurality is currently used in elections in Washington and around the country and is vulnerable to the spoiler effect and a number of other undemocratic outcomes. Approval voting looks similar to a traditional plurality ballot but allows voters to vote for as many candidates as they would like. A score voting ballot allows voters to rate each candidate on a 0-5 scale.
One attendee, William Miller, said, "It looks like score voting is going to work out much better," as he dropped his ballot into the ballot box.
Following a brief tallying period and a presentation on voting theory, the results were unveiled. Borrelli won handily under each voting method, taking 76.5 percent, 85.3 percent, and 82.4 percent of the plurality, approval, and score votes, respectively. The second-place winners differed, with Denny Heck advancing under plurality voting and Nancy Dailey Slotnick advancing under approval and score voting, indicating a spoiler effect on the plurality ballot.
|Nancy Dailey Slotnick
|Denny Heck (Democrat)||Joseph Brumbles
Approval and score results do not sum to 100 percent; totals are out of maximum possible points per candidate.
Founded in 2018, Counted promotes nonpartisan, evidence-based voting reform, specifically the adoption of cardinal voting methods like score and approval voting, across Washington state. We are grassroots activists spanning the political spectrum, brought together by the idea that every vote should count. counted.vote
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