NAACP to help spread the word about ranked-choice voting in NYC

Shant Shahrigian :: MSN

The New York State chapter of the NAACP is changing its tune on ranked-choice voting.

The storied civil rights organization plans to spread the word about the new voting method — in which voters get to list candidates in order of preference, instead of choosing just one — in all five boroughs this weekend.

Last year, the chapter’s president Hazel Dukes voiced skepticism of ranked-choice voting, telling the New York Times: “Some progressive white folks got together in a room and thought this would be good, but it’s not good for our community.”

She argued that the city hadn’t been doing enough to educate voters about the new process, saying that would disenfranchise communities of color.

But with a lawsuit seeking to bar the rollout of ranked-choice voting tossed out earlier this month, the NAACP is getting on board with RCV.

© Ranked-choice voting

Ranked-choice voting (

“We have to deal with the reality that it is here,” Kenny Cohen, head of the NAACP’s northeast Queens branch, told the Daily News on Thursday. “Everyone needs to have fair knowledge and equal knowledge of the process — how to fully maximize your voting potential.”

A recent poll found about four in 10 likely voters in the June 22 Democratic primary were familiar with ranked-choice voting, a level Cohen called “disturbing.”

“Unfortunately, communities of color are always … the communities that are least educated when change has come about in anything, especially voting,” he said.

Under the NAACP’s upcoming voter education drive, dozens of volunteers are set to drive caravans throughout the city to hand out literature and talk RCV.

The city’s Campaign Finance Board is in the middle of a $2 million educational campaign about the new process.

Read full article


Make Ranked Choice Voting News in Your State.