| Kevin Valine | The Modesto |

Modesto’s second effort to increase turnout in the mayoral election did not draw huge numbers of voters, with less than a third of the electorate expected to have cast ballots in the March 5 presidential primary. A political scientist said the city can increase turnout by making two changes: Hold the mayoral election in November when turnout is at its highest and use ranked choice voting to avoid a low-turnout runoff election.

I love ranked choice voting

“I love ranked choice voting,” said Steve Routh, a political scientist at California State University, Stanislaus. “It’s one election on Election Day …. and it’s the cheaper way to go. A runoff election is expensive.”

Steve Chessin, president of nonpartisan group Californians for Electoral Reform, said ranked choice voting has “been very successful. The only people who don’t like it are the people who lose elections because they don’t campaign effectively under it.”

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