Letter from Rob Jerdonek

Your article last week on Measure A rightly lamented the poor turnout in Santa Clara for the June 5 election. On the same day, San Francisco had 52% turnout, its highest for mayor in the past 15 years. San Francisco uses Ranked Choice Voting which increases choices for voters and results in high turnout elections.

In another article in that issue, you discussed the council’s failure to appoint a candidate, and mentioned a public comment that the unusual ranking system used by the council during the appointment process was “ranked choice voting”. That perception is absolutely false. The council was actually using a point ranking system similar to a “Borda Count”; however, they did not implement the details of Borda Count correctly. Fortunately, the specifics of their point ranking system did not affect the outcome. (Two of the six councilmembers were clearly not going to appoint anyone under any system.) However, please be assured that the bizarre point ranking system chosen by the council that day was not Ranked Choice Voting. Unlike the council’s ranking system that day, Ranked Choice Voting uses well-specified methods that are used to conduct fair and legal elections in many cities across the U.S.