| Grace Hase | East Bay Times |

A new state bill from two Silicon Valley legislators could put Santa Clara County one step closer to adopting ranked choice voting.

Assembly Bill 1227 has already cleared the assembly and is now headed to the state senate. The bill, by Assembly members Evan Low (D-San Jose) and Alex Lee (D-San Jose), would allow the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors to decide if they want to adopt ranked choice voting for county elections.

More clarity and cooperation

Lee called ranked choice voting a “common sense approach.” Low said switching to ranked choice voting will help limit the amount of “negative campaigning and mudslinging” during election season since candidates might be less likely to attack their opponents when they can be the second choice on the ballot.

It’s moved to the forefront once again as other cities, like Eureka, are making the change for the 2024 election. At a county level, voters in 2020 elected Supervisor Otto Lee, who has been a staunch supporter of the concept.

“Ranked choice voting encourages more clarity and cooperation among candidates that elevates the quality of the debate and lessens the vitriol and personal attacks that is far too commonplace during campaigns,” he said in a statement. “Additionally, less well-known or financially funded candidates may have a better chance of getting elected.”

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