Push to change how Seattle votes gets approval for November ballot

A push to change the way Seattle votes has gained official approval for the November ballot, King County elections confirmed Wednesday.

Initiative 134, backed by a volunteer-run voting reform group called Seattle Approves, would implement a change called “approval voting,” which would let voters support as many candidates for a given elected position as they would like.

For example, instead of reading “Vote for one,” primary ballots would instruct voters to “Vote for as many as you approve of,” according to a Seattle Approves news release.

According to King County Elections, the petition required 26,520 signatures. 43,215 were submitted.

26,942 of the 43,215 signatures were accepted, deeming the petition for the initiative sufficient.

Seattle Approves claims that the initiative would make politics “less divisive,” since campaigns “won’t fight each other over voters — they’ll fight for wider support,” according to its website.

The group also says that elections would become an “honest measurement of how many voters support each candidate,” something it says our current system doesn’t accurately measure.

“Seattle’s leaders must represent everyone,” said Sarah Ward, volunteer co-chair of Seattle Approves. “Initiative 134 will make Seattle’s elections as representative as possible, so that its leaders represent the entire electorate. This initiative puts voters first.”