| Brian Whitehead | San Bernardino Sun |

San Bernardino leaders hesitated to throw their full support behind ranked choice voting in future elections, but a majority of them did agree to schedule a workshop to learn more about the multi-stepped method of tallying votes.

Things that work better

“We have be able to step away from what’s been when there are examples of things that work better,” implored Reynoso, who said he recently watched his distant cousin Antonio Reynoso win election as Brooklyn Borough president via ranked choice voting.

“In a society like this, democratic, we’re trying things,” he added. “This thing’s an experiment. Society, this is not a full-on democracy, this is an experiment.”

In San Bernardino, transitioning to ranked choice voting requires a charter amendment, giving voters the final say on how they want to elect their representatives.

All city leaders can do is direct staffers to craft a ballot measure and agree to pose the question to voters.

Should the council reach that point, an extensive educational campaign is needed to explain ranked choice voting to the public, councilmembers agreed Wednesday.

“I don’t want to confuse voters,” Ibarra commented. “I want them to know how to vote and encourage them to vote.”

San Francisco and Oakland are among the handful of California cities to use ranked choice voting.

San Bernardino would be the first city in the county to use it.

Under current state law, only charter counties and cities, such as San Bernardino, can adopt ranked choice voting. General law jurisdictions cannot.

Wednesday, Sanchez suggested proponents of ranked choice voting gather the requisite number of signatures to qualify a measure for the ballot.

“This can happen without council action,” Sanchez said.

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