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The Future of Casting a Vote in L.A. Might Include Ranked Choice Voting and Vote-By Mail Elections

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In a city of four million people, how many come out to vote? Unless it's a historic election, not many. And sometimes turnout dwindles to a sad single digit number. That's why two Los Angeles City Councilmembers are trying to encourage more participation through four reforms nicknamed the Los Angeles Voters' Bill of Rights. Three of them must be approved by voters, likely during the March 2011 election, but they first must be approved by the City Council for placement on that ballot. The vision includes a more comprehensive vote-by-mail program, such as ones found in Oregon or Denver, a ranked choice voting system, expanding the budget for clean money campaigns and same day voter registration.

"Los Angeles voters are telling us our election process is in dire need of an overhaul," Councilmembers Jose Huizar and Eric Garcetti wrote in today's Daily News. "Voters are burned out by too many primary, runoff and special elections. And they are increasingly disillusioned as a result of negative campaigns and big-money special interest funding of those campaigns."