NAACP Compares Ranked Choice Voting to “Poll Tax”

The head of the Albemarle-Charlottesville NAACP said Thursday that the voting process for the city’s upcoming Democratic primary is so complicated it’s unfair, adding that one elderly resident has compared the process to the “dreaded poll tax.”  REPORTS The Daily Progress.

M. Rick Turner, surrounded by concerned voters held a news conference to bring light to the new voting procedure called “Ranked Choice Voting” being used by the Democratic Party to select their candidates.

“The NAACP is concerned that complicated instructions and an unfamiliar ballot layout makes voting difficult for elderly voters, disabled and visually impaired voters, new voters and voters with limited education,”

The new method asked voters to rank their choices 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7.  The election, held several days after the press conference, confirmed Mr. Turner’s concerns.  For more than 30 years, the council seat has been held by an African American.  Using RCV, the African American candidate was ousted.

Voter confusion with Ranked Choice Voting is not new, and has been recently REPORTED by Lance Williams in the Oakland and San Francisco Races.

Alicia B. Lugo, 69, said she’s been a lifelong, politically aware resident of Charlottesville, with several years of experience on the city’s electoral board, but has never seen such a “travesty” of a ballot.

“Genius is not in how complicated you make something,” Lugo said. “Genius is in how well it’s understood by the most people. Whoever made this up was no genius.”

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