Advocates say New York City is ready for ranked choice voting

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NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — New York City is 10 weeks out from the big June primary election and advocates say the word is getting out on the new way everyone will be voting.

Ranked choice voting already got a test run in a pair of special elections in Queens this year but, the overhaul will happen in June, when residents head to the ballot boxes to pick their nominees for mayor.

While there were some concerns over whether New Yorkers would know about the switch in time, Susan Lerner, with Common Cause, says people have caught on.

“Ninety-five percent of Queens voters found the rank choice voting ballot simple to understand and 75% knew about ranked voting,” she said.

Her organization is one of many looking to make sure New York City voters know about the new system which will allow them to rank their top five candidates in order, rather than pick just one.

“This is the way we should be doing elections,” says Assemblyman Ron Kim.

He says it's collaborative, forcing candidates to look for more votes in more places.

“My constituents, the Asian Americans who always felt like during these elections they did not have a voice, are supercharged,” he explains.

Advocates for the voting system say it gives voters more choices at the ballot box and has been proven to increase representation.

Some members of the City Council filed suit last year to delay ranked choice voting, arguing not enough outreach had been done. A judge denied the initial effort.

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