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State of California November 2, 2010 Election
Smart Voter

The two party winner-take-all system has failed us

By Ann Menasche

Candidate for Secretary of State

This information is provided by the candidate
We need electoral reform to create a more representative democracy that will allow the full diversity of views to be represented in government.
Our winner-take-all electoral system has created a two party duopoly that fails to represent the political views of significant numbers of California's citizens. Non-corporate and third party candidates have little opportunity to be heard or to gain a place at the table, despite the fact that 23% of Californians do not identify as either Democrats or Republicans. Not surprisingly, voter turnout is dismal - even in the 2008 Presidential election only 55% of Californians qualified to vote did so.

For a more representative democracy, I support:

  • Elimination of the "spoiler" effect allowing people to vote their conscience by instituting Instant RunOff Voting (IRV) (ranked voting) for single-seat elections such as Governor (for more information on IRV see;
  • Replace the current method of electing state legislators with a system of Proportional Representation to allow representation of the full range of views in California. Establish a Commission of ordinary citizens to determinte the most appropriate form of proportional representation for our state (for information on various forms of proportional representation, see www.
  • Same day registration
  • Paid time off work to vote
  • Full access to people with disabilities to vote indepedently
  • Ensuring that every vote counts - that any voting technology utilized in voting or counting the vote not be subject to "trade secrets" but be full audidtable and accessible to the public.

Next Page: Position Paper 3

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