Voters in survey approve of ranked-choice system - Albuquerque Journal

Voters in survey approve of ranked-choice system

The results of an election day survey by FairVote New Mexico found that Santa Fe voters strongly favored the new ranked-choice voting system, FairVote says.

The organization led the successful effort to petition a Santa Fe District Court judge to order the Santa Fe City Council to implement ranked-choice voting in the March 6 municipal election.

Maria Perez
Maria Perez

FairVote New Mexico Director Maria Perez told the Journal Thursday that 27 volunteers covered 10 voting centers on election day and selected a random sample of voters to take part in the poll.

Under the advice from University of New Mexico political science professor Lonna Atkeson, Perez said volunteers approached every other voter leaving a polling center in District 3, where voter turnout is typically the lowest, and approached every fourth voter in District 1, where voter turnout is the highest.

According to a release from FairVote, about 1,300 of the more than 20,600 voters took the survey on March 6, when Alan Webber beat four other candidates in the mayor’s race and four city councilors were elected.

More than 55 percent of respondents said they liked using the ranked-choice ballot, compared to 24 percent who said they didn’t like it. More than 67 percent said the ballot was “not at all confusing” while 6 percent found it “very confusing.”

More than 70 percent said they were “very confident” that their vote was counted as intended, and more than 94 percent said they were satisfied with their voting experience. Just over 70 percent of respondents said they thought ranked-choice voting should be used in future city elections.

“I think the responses we got from voters were positive and encouraging overall,” Perez said. “The voters pretty much overwhelmingly felt their vote was going to count as intended. That was a really encouraging piece of data in terms of going forward with this.”

Sixty-one percent of respondents said that they ranked all five mayoral candidates, 80 percent ranked at least three candidates and 88 percent reported that they ranked at least two. Only 11.15 percent of those surveyed said they voted for only one candidate.

In ranked-choice, which applies in races with more than two candidates, voters rank their choices from first to last, choose just a first choice or rank just some of the candidates. If no candidate has more than 50 percent of the first-choice votes after the first round of counting, the candidate receiving the fewest votes is eliminated. The second-choice votes on those ballots is distributed to the remaining candidates.

The process is repeated round by round until someone has a majority of votes counted. In later rounds, if the second choice on ballots for candidates being eliminated has already been knocked out, the third choice is counted, and so on.

It took four rounds to put entrepreneur Webber over the top in the Santa Fe mayor’s race. He easily bested Ron Truillo, who was ending his service on the City Council, in the final round.

Perez said the results of the survey speak volumes about how well city government, through a major public education campaign, and community groups worked to educate citizens on ranked-choice voting. Judge David Thomson in late November ruled the city had to use ranked-choice voting, giving everyone just a little over two months to prepare for the 2018 election.

Perez also said city employees did a good job of helping voters on election day.

“Kudos to everyone who worked on this,” Perez said. “It will only get better.”

Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email

Nativo Sponsored Content

Ad Tango

taboola desktop


Plant-based milks offer an array of viable alternatives
From the newspaper
Q: Doctor, there are several types ... Q: Doctor, there are several types of plant-based milks available. Which one should I be giving my 3 ...
When the core musculature is working optimally, there is ...
From the newspaper
Maintaining the ideal alignment from the ... Maintaining the ideal alignment from the neck to the shoulder blades, spine and pelvis when performi ...
Best Bond song ever? Louis Armstrong's 'We Have All ...
You have questions. I have some ... You have questions. I have some answers.Both the film and the song, performed by Louis ...
Prep football: This week's games to watch (Oct. 21-22)
Featured Sports
All listed games kick off at ... All listed games kick off at 7 p.m. Friday unless noted. 1. Rio Rancho (6-0, 2-0 in 1-6A) at Volcano Vista (5-3, 2-1), Nusenda ...
Combat sports notes: Lovato rewarded for her persistence
After at first not succeeding, Amanda ... After at first not succeeding, Amanda Lovato didn't merely try, try again.She tried, t ...
TOP OF MIND: Should the governor or legislators determine ...
From the newspaper
This week's question: The state Supreme ... This week's question: The state Supreme Court is being asked to settle an ongoing dispute between Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and state lawmakers over ...
Back-to-work law for retired state workers could be eased
From the newspaper
NM counties, cities are struggling to ... NM counties, cities are struggling to fill positions during pandemic
ABQ stadium bond question is botched
ABQnews Seeker
Ballot correctly describes gross receipts tax ... Ballot correctly describes gross receipts tax issue, then mislabels it as GO bond
UNM regents give up power over purchasing
ABQnews Seeker
Administration given the power to make ... Administration given the power to make decisions