Second Judge Orders City to Prep Ranked Choice Voting for March. City Could Appeal. Action Time

Without Ranked Choice Voting, we could elect a conservative Mayor with 25% of the vote while 75% of voters split their votes between four excellent progressive candidates. We can’t let this happen and two judges agree. Read on for action details.

On Wednesday, Judge Shaffer ordered the City to implement RCV in March, but the City recused the Judge. On Thursday, Judge Thomson was assigned the case and he immediately acted, again ordering the City to implement RCV in March.

The City can not recuse another judge so the City has a clear choice: Defy two court orders and use the next ten days to prepare for a hearing on Tuesday, Nov 21 at 8:15am where it will have to convince Judge Thompson that it simply can’t implement RCV; or get to work preparing for RCV.

The software has been tested and certified by the NM Secretary of State. Whether or not Santa Fe adopts RCV this software will be used in March, so there is no reason not to proceed and lots of reasons not to delay further.  Without RCV, Ives, Maestas, Noble and Webber could split the progressive vote and with 25% of the vote we get a Mayor no one else wants. FOR 4 YEARS!  Call and email your elected officials immediately and often. Contact info and more context below.

We need to pack the courtroom on Nov 21 at 8:15am (225 Montezuma Ave, Santa Fe), but before that we need to write and call our Mayor and City Councilors to implore them to stop the delays and get to work. If it weren’t obvious this summer, when the City Council could have ordered the Clerk to prepare for RCV for March, it is abundantly clear now that without RCV and with six candidates running, we are in danger of ushering in a new Mayor with less than 25% of the vote. With progressives splitting their support, that Mayor could easily not be the second, third or even sixth choice of most of us. Yet he would be our Mayor for FOUR YEARS!  We can’t let that happen.

It will be more difficult getting RCV done now, having wasted two months, but what is worse: buckling down and getting this done, or suffering for four years under the yoke of a Mayor few of us support. It is time for this City’s leadership to prove its mettle, and demonstrate that it cares more about the future of the City than the Clerk having to work some overtime because she failed to prepare for this moment months and months ago. I have been told that Retake too often criticizes the City for not functioning effectively. Well instead of complaining about criticism, maybe the City should address the source of the complaint.

Imagine how the voters will feel in March if we have a very conservative mayor elected with 25% of the vote while 75% of the voters supported one of four progressive candidates. That scenario is very, very possible. Imagine how different the voters will feel if instead, with RCV, a Mayor is elected who was the vast majority of voters first or second choice. With two court orders and a deluge of constituent input during the summer, why is this not an urgent matter to our City Council?  Four cities had ranked choice voting elections this week, and the results were amazing. Without RCV, Santa Fe’s March election could be a national embarrassment.

It is insulting to have the Clerk and the Council describe how educating the voters will take far too long and that the process is too complicated. How confusing is it to rank from 1-6 your choices for Mayor? I have heard Councilors bemoan that they’d have to decide how the software should function if someone only ranks one or two candidates but doesn’t rank all six. But if someone just ranks their first and second choice, that means they do not want any of the other candidates. The software can easily program these scenarios. That is what it is designed to do. There is a detailed study available covering the implementation of RCV in 5 California cities: Oakland, Berkeley, San Francisco, San Leandro and Davis. It covers every aspect of implementation and evel provides sample community education materials and sample ballots. These could be used by the City to short-cut their own learning curve. Click here to review this report.

The truth is:

  • In one or two meetings the City Council could prepare the protocol guiding how the software will manage the process and there are protocols in place from other cities to use as a guide;
  • Materials that should have been created by the Clerk months ago, could be created quickly and disseminated throughout the City
  • The League of Women Voters and other non-partisan civic organizations could provide educational sessions;

It is time to stop delaying and begin acting on the voters behalf. We face the prospect of a very conservative Mayor being elected in a very progressive city because our City Council and Mayor failed to implement the will of the voters. No more excuses. Tell your elected representatives to please get this done and do NOT pursue further legal action.

Santa Feans TAKE ACTION:

  • Please call and email your city council members and Mayor Gonzales to let them know that this is not acceptable (phone numbers and email addresses are provided below)! Let them know that they have enough time to implement RCV if they stop wasting time with legal appeals. Two District Court Judges have issued court orders; community sentiment is overwhelming and there is time. We do not want a Mayor elected by 25% of the voters.
  • Please submit a letter to the editor or My View to the Santa Fe New Mexican, expressing your thoughts about the critical need for Ranked Choice Voting, click here for information on how to do this.
  • Please show up on Nov. 21 at 8:15am at District Court, at 225 Montezuma Ave, Santa Fe.
  • Please share this with your personal and social media networks and encourage people to take action!

In solidarity,

Paul & Roxanne

Below is contact information on all the City Council members and our Mayor.


District 1.

District 2.

District 3

District 4

In solidarity,

Paul & Roxanne

Categories: Election, Political Reform & National Politics

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1 reply

  1. These city people are not on our side… we want good for all and justice

    And if we dont know what that is then……???/?/

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