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League of Women Voters of Boulder County
Empowering Voters. Defending Democracy
Serving the People of Boulder County, Colorado

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LWVBC Hosts City of Boulder’s 2023 Election Changes

Holly Monkman, Co-Director of Advocacy | Published on 10/1/2023

On September 19th LWVBC was pleased to host the City of Boulder’s 2023 Election Changes event with City Clerk Elesha Johnson and County Clerk Molly Fitzpatrick at the Boulder JCC.  Topics covered included term changes for council members and mayor as the city transitions to even-year elections, the first ever direct election of the mayor, use of ranked choice voting (instant runoff) for the mayoral contest and a practice RCV(IRV) election complete with volunteer election workers from the audience.

Leading up to the event, Boulder Reporting Lab interviewed Celeste Landry (Voting Methods Team) for an article on Boulder’s ranked choice voting (instant runoff).  Celeste also joined County Clerk Fitzpatrick in the KGNU studio for a segment on their Morning Magazine show to promote the event.

Fifty-eight people attended that evening, including a reporter from the Daily Camera.  We’re pleased to have made the front page of the next morning’s edition!

If you missed the event & reside within the City of Boulder, be sure to watch the recording or look at the slide deck on the Voting Methods page before filling out your ballot for the mayoral contest.  For those of you living outside of Boulder, the practice RCV(IRV) election is a great explanation of how Ranked Choice Voting (Instant Runoff) works.

Here are 3 key takeaways if you find yourself filling out a Ranked Choice (Instant Runoff) ballot:

  • Your #1 ranking is the only ranking that is guaranteed to be counted. Ranking ≠ Voting
  • If there are 4 candidates and 4 possible rankings, your 4th ranking will never be counted.
  • Rank as many candidates as you feel comfortable ranking to give you a chance to have more say in the outcome!

We want to express gratitude to the County Clerk’s office for asking us to work with them on this event and to the City Clerk for joining in the presentation.  By working altogether, I believe we put together as comprehensive a program as possible. 

Thanks also to Celeste Landry, Mark Parsons, Pat & Frank Venturo, Martine Elianor and the entire Voting Methods Team.  Many hands make light work and many eyes & ears make for a better presentation!

A big thank you to Susan Curtis for all her work on finding, securing & setting up the venue, including communication with the Boulder JCC team to make sure the AV work happened smoothly and also to Rosabelle Rice for the Spanish translation & interpretation.

And last but not least, thank you to Premier Members Credit Union for sponsoring this event. 

Mark Parsons, Moderator,  below