No voting changes to Cedar Rapids city charter

Published: Sep. 27, 2022 at 10:32 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - There will not be any changes to how people in Cedar Rapids vote, but not for lack of trying.

Advocates for what’s called ‘ranked choice voting” are frustrated that city council members did not take up their recommendations to make a change Tuesday night.

Ranked choice voting allows voters to pick a favorite as well as backup candidates.

Kelly Spencer, a volunteer with Better Ballot Iowa, is an advocate for ranked choice voting.

“What ranked choice voting would do for Cedar Rapids would be to give us the opportunity to eliminate the old antiquated runoff elections that we have,” said Spencer.

She was part of a group that worked with the Charter Review Commission, which makes recommendations to City Council on changes for the city’s charter.

After six months of work, the commission did recommend to the council language that would explore the possibility of ranked choice voting in Cedar Rapids, if that becomes a legal option in Iowa.

However, Tuesday City Council members accepted the recommendations from the commission without any of the language Spencer wanted.

“That is what they are, at the end of the day—these are recommendations to an elected body. And we can’t lose sight of that,” said Cedar Rapids Mayor Tiffany O’Donnell.

“Our charter is our city’s constitution. So any changes to it, from my view, and I believe from the council’s view as well, need to be rare and long lasting,“ said O’Donnell.