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Lane County Ballot Measure Asks Voters To Approve A New Voting Method

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On the November ballot, Lane County voters will be asked to decide whether or not to institute a new voting method, called STAR voting, for non-partisan elections.

STAR stands for Score, Then Automatic Runoff. Under the STAR voting method, ballots would list every candidate and allow voters to score them zero to five. The two highest scoring candidates are the finalists for an automatic runoff. Your vote goes to whichever of those two received your higher score.

Measure 20-290 will only appear on the Lane County ballot. One of the petitioners is Eugene businessman Mark Frohnmayer.

Among other benefits, Frohnmayer says the STAR method prevents vote splitting or the “spoiler effect.”

“Any time there are more than 2 candidates in a race today, the vote is inherently unequal,” Frohnmayer says. “Because the candidates that are more similar to each other will divide the votes of their supporters.”

Frohnmayer says the greatest challenge for STAR voting is “fear of change.” But he notes, historically Oregonians have been at the forefront of election reform with the creation of the initiative system and vote by mail.

**Stay tuned this week for a wider description of the measure through an depth interview with STAR initiative co-petitioners. 

Tiffany joined the KLCC News team in 2007. She studied journalism at the University of Missouri-Columbia and has worked in a variety of media including television and daily print news. For KLCC, Tiffany reports on health care, social justice and local/regional news. She has won awards from Oregon Associated Press, PRNDI, and Education Writers Association.