December 16, 2023
On December 14th, four statewide organizations held a press conference in Charleston, SC, to support Mayor John Tecklenburg’s upcoming resolution calling on the state legislature to give municipalities the option to use instant runoff voting in local elections.
See the below press release.
The press conference received significant media attention:
WCSC–Organizations advocate for alternate election system in Charleston
WCIV–Instant Runoff Voting bill proposed to ‘efficiently’ choose local leaders
Post and Courier–Outgoing Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg to urge SC to support a new way to vote
Statehouse Report–Charleston is first to seek instant-runoff voting
Post and Courier–Editorial: Charleston should back effort to allow ranked-choice voting
Better Ballot SC
South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce
League of Women Voters of South Carolina
South Carolina Veterans for All Voters
For Immediate Release
December 14, 2023
Contact: Frank Knapp, 803-600-6874, firstname.lastname@example.org
Statewide groups support Mayor’s resolution on Instant Runoff Voting
Charleston, SC – At the next Charleston City Council meeting on December 19th, Mayor John Tecklenburg will introduce a resolution that is supported by five statewide organizations.
The resolution calls on the SC Legislature to pass a bill that would permit South Carolina municipalities to adopt an election process for local offices called Instant Runoff Voting. The bipartisan House Bill 4022 currently in the House Judiciary Committee would allow municipalities to use Instant Runoff Voting as one of four election methods available.
The recent Mayoral election runoff in Charleston cost city taxpayers about $200,000. By using Instant Runoff Voting, no runoff would be needed.
The recent North Charleston City Council election resulted in five candidates winning their districts with fewer than 50% of the vote.
Instant Runoff Voting is a simple election system change—used by over 50 cities, counties, and states across the country—that saves cities money and effort while resulting in consensus majority election winners.
Here is how Instant Runoff Voting works.
Voters can rank as many candidates as they want on the ballot in order of preference. All first choices are tallied and if a candidate receives more than half of the first choices, that candidate wins, just like in any other election.
If there is no majority winner after counting first choices, the race is decided by an “instant runoff.”
The candidate with the fewest first choice votes is eliminated, and voters who picked that candidate as their top choice will have their next choice counted.
This process continues until there is a candidate winning a majority of the votes.
“Better Ballot SC overwhelmingly agrees with Mayor Tecklenburg that Charleston needs to upgrade its elections,” said Nicole Sanchez, President of Better Ballot SC. “Instant runoff voting would save taxpayers unnecessarily wasted time and money by eliminating the need for runoffs while still ensuring majority support. We thank Mayor Tecklenburg for introducing the resolution.”
“Instant Runoff Voting encourages candidates to focus on problem solving, not negative campaigning, because candidates will want to be the second choice of voters who support a different candidate as first choice,” said Frank Knapp, President & CEO of the South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce. “The result is a better functioning government striving to serve all constituents, including small businesses.”
“The League of Women Voters of South Carolina and the Charleston Area wholeheartedly supports Mayor Tecklenburg’s Instant Runoff Voting resolution and urges City Council to move this forward,” said Leslie Skardon, the Director of National Issues for the South Carolina League. “LWVSC stands ready to lend its support.”
“Veterans for all Voters-South Carolina appreciates the courage demonstrated by Mayor Tecklenburg’s resolution on Instant Runoff Voting and calls on the City Council to continue Charleston’s march to a more inclusive 21st Century voting system. Instant Runoff Voting encourages Veterans and all citizens to vote knowing that their vote will count,” said Chris Himsl, Colonel US Army Ret., Director of Veterans for All Voters-South Carolina. “Besides, Instant Runoff Voting saves the city and its voters money, time and effort.”