| Jessica Dyer | abqjournal.com |
Albuquerque leaders are slated to take a second look at ranked-choice voting, with Mayor Tim Keller backing a new proposal to change the way city voters mark their ballots.
We’ll see if we can get it across the finish line this time…
The City Council swatted down similar legislation three years ago, but Keller is pushing for ranked choice as a way to eliminate runoff elections and save the city money.
Winning elected office in Albuquerque city government – either as mayor or a city councilor – requires securing at least 50% of the vote. But, city races are officially nonpartisan and often attract more than two candidates, so it is not unusual for the most popular candidates to miss that threshold. In those cases, the top two voter-getters proceed to a runoff.
Last year, two City Council races required a runoff. That election cost the city $610,424, bringing Albuquerque’s total runoff election expenses since 2013 to nearly $2.5 million, according to the new proposal that Councilors Isaac Benton and Tammy Fiebelkorn are sponsoring on the administration’s behalf.
Benton said it’s worth pursuing again with a bill to implement it in time for the 2023 local election.
“We spend a lot of money on these runoffs and it’s hugely taxing as a candidate, as well, to go through another round of fundraising. … We’ll see if we can get it across the finish line this time,” he said.