We are thrilled to announce our 12th grantee, Ottawa123!

Ottawa123 is the Ranked Choice Voting Initiative of Ottawa, a non-partisan group of residents who believe that Ranked Choice Voting will bring about friendlier elections, better ideas, and increased diversity on Ottawa City Council. The aim of the project is to have Ottawa City Council pass a motion to have RCV for our 2018 municipal election. Voting reform is notoriously complicated and unsexy, but Ottawa123 hopes to change that by making it more accessible.

“While our success as voting reform advocates depends on logic and strong evidence,” says spokesperson, Colum Grover-White, “we’ll win or lose this campaign based on how creative we are in coming up with new and better ways to make voters care about the complicated, abstract and vital issue of electoral reform. That is why we are holding City Idol, a mock election event on Oct. 23, to show Ottawa what our elections can actually be like.”

Want to support the cause? Ottawa123 has launched a petition calling on all of Ottawa’s mayoral and city councillor candidates to support a change to the way the City of Ottawa elects its official. Sign the petition!

About Ranked Choice Voting
Ranked Choice Voting, also known as Alternative Voting, allows voters to choose multiple candidates, ranked in order of preference. A candidate must have 50% of the vote in order to win. If no candidate has 50% of the vote, the candidate with the fewest vote is eliminated. Your vote is automatically transferred to your second choice if your candidate is eliminated. The votes are counted again and again until there is a winner.

Still confused? Check out Ottawa123’s voting simulator.

Benefits of RCV
There are a number of benefits to Ranked Choice Voting:

No More Strategic Voting: You can always vote for the candidate you like trashier than against the one you don’t. If your 1st choice is eliminated from the race, then your vote automatically goes to your 2nd choice.

Discourages negative campaigning: Since candidates need to win at least 50% of the vote, they also need to appeal to their opponents’ supporters in order to be their 2nd and 3rd choices, resulting in friendlier elections.

Greater diversity of Candidates: Less represented candidates will not be discouraged from running for fear of vote splitting, resulting in a greater wealth of ideas being debated during municipal elections.