Article IX: Nominations and Elections

Section 9.01 Elections: All municipal elections shall be nonpartisan and there shall be a regular primary and municipal general election biennially on the days provided by law and such special elections as the city council shall provide for. Until otherwise provided by ordinance to the extent permitted by state law, the primary and general election laws of the state, so far as the same are applicable to cities of the first class, shall govern and control all elections of the city and all proceedings therewith. (As amended by vote of the people on November 6, 1979.)

NOTE: Elections are now held in odd numbered years pursuant to RCW 29.13.024.

Section 9.02 Nominations: Any qualified elector of the city may declare candidacy for the office of councilmember by filing a declaration of candidacy in accordance with state law.

Section 9.03 Instant Runoff Voting Authorized

(1) Method authorized but not required: Nothing in this charter shall preclude the City Council from authorizing, by resolution, the use of instant runoff voting for the election of city officers in any regular or special election that may be held.

(2) Advance notification required: A resolution authorizing the use of instant runoff voting for an election must be passed at least thirty days before the candidate filing deadline for that election.

(3) Instant runoff voting defined: Instant Runoff Voting (IRV) allows the majority will of the voters to be determined in a single election. Instead of a voter indicating a single choice, each voter indicates his or her first choice, second choice, and so on, for up to as many choices as there are candidates. If a candidate receives a majority of first choice ballots, that candidate is elected. However, if no candidate receives a majority of first choice ballots, the candidate with the fewest first choice ballots is eliminated from contention, and the second choices of those voters whose first choice was eliminated are then counted as first choices. If a candidate now has a majority of the ballots, that candidate is elected. If not this process is repeated until one candidate receives a majority of the ballots. Instant runoff voting makes a second round or runoff election unnecessary.

(4) Uniformity required: If instant runoff voting is to be used to elect to any city office then it must be used for all city offices appearing on the ballot during that election. (As added by vote of the people on November 2, 1999.)