Seattle councilmember proposes adding ranked-choice voting decision to November ballot

SEATTLE — Voters in Seattle could be asked to decide between two new ways of voting in future citywide elections.

Seattle City Councilmember Andrew Lewis introduced legislation on Monday that would put ranked-choice voting, which allows voters to list their preferred candidates in order of preference, on the November ballot.

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

If Lewis’ bill is passed by the council, it would then be up to Seattle voters to decide which voting method would be used for citywide primary elections.

A single yes-or-no question would be placed on the ballot, asking voters if either initiative should be approved. If voters select “yes,” they would then select which of the two measures they prefer.

If approved, Initiative 134 would go into effect no later than 2025. Under Lewis’ proposal, ranked-choice voting would be implemented by 2027.