Baltimore City Council
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File #: 20-0196R    Version: 0 Name: Request for State Action - Ranked Choice Voting or Open Primaries
Type: City Council Resolution Status: Adopted
File created: 2/10/2020 In control: City Council
On agenda: Final action: 2/10/2020
Enactment #:
Title: Request for State Action - Ranked Choice Voting or Open Primaries For the purpose of calling on the state to pass enabling legislation that authorizes Baltimore City to adopt either a ranked choice or open primary election voting system, to ensure inclusive and democratic elections for City officials.
Sponsors: Bill Henry, Mayor Brandon M. Scott, Ryan Dorsey, Kristerfer Burnett, John T. Bullock, Zeke Cohen, Shannon Sneed, Leon F. Pinkett, III, Isaac "Yitzy" Schleifer, Edward Reisinger
Indexes: Ranked Choice Voting, Request for State Action
Attachments: 1. 20-0196R~1st Reader, 2. 20-0196R Complete Bill File
* Warning: This is an unofficial, introductory copy of the bill.
The official copy considered by the City Council is the first reader copy.
Introductory*

City of Baltimore
Council Bill R
(Resolution)

Introduced by: Councilmember Henry


A Resolution Entitled

A Council Resolution concerning
title
Request for State Action - Ranked Choice Voting or Open Primaries
For the purpose of calling on the state to pass enabling legislation that authorizes Baltimore City to adopt either a ranked choice or open primary election voting system, to ensure inclusive and democratic elections for City officials.
body

Recitals

Baltimore, unlike most major cities, selects party candidates for the general election through partisan primaries. Since Baltimore voters are overwhelmingly registered Democrats and no
non-Democrat has been elected to a major City office for decades, this effectively means that the
preferences of Baltimore's thousands of non-Democratic voters have no impact on the selection
of our elected officials.

Equally troubling is the fact that a primary candidate can secure the nomination and the party's sole spot on the general election ballot, with a plurality of votes rather than an outright majority, which means that in a crowded field of candidates the party nomination can easily go to someone who a majority of primary voters actually voted against. Under these circumstances, we could find ourselves in a city of well over half a million being governed by people who were the first choice of only a few thousand residents - a profoundly anti-democratic result.

Ranked choice voting and open primaries encourage candidates to make mor...

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