This November, Benton County voters will participate in “Ranked Choice Voting” when electing Benton County Commissioners. Since Ranked Choice Voting will debut this coming election, the county enlisted the help of Sam Sasquatch to teach voters how it works using the Benton Better Ballot website.
“Ranked voting is easy,” said cartoon mascot Sam. “Instead of selecting just one candidate, you can select and rank your top three!”
The website features a short video demonstrating how the process works and how the votes are tallied – including write-in candidates. Visitors can practice voting with an interactive mock voting simulation. Five northwest-inspired animal characters are competing for the office of County Commissioner for “Animal County.” Mock voters receive a virtual “sticker” after submitting their online practice ballot.
About Ranked Choice Voting
Benton County voters approved “Ranked Choice Voting” during the November 2016 election with the passage of ballot measure 2-100. It applies when at least three candidates run for the office of Benton County Commissioner. The November 2020 election is the first election where Ranked Choice will be implemented,according to the Benton County Elections and Passport website.
The ballot measure 2-10 description states that: “Ranked choice voting would allow voters to rank candidates in order of preference, using those rankings to elect candidates. The measure would provide that ranked choice voting be used for general and special elections; not for primaries.”
Ranked Choice Voting doesn’t apply to the office of Benton County Sheriff since no more than two candidates are nominated during the Primary Election for the General Election ballot in accordance with ORS 249.091.
Candidates for Benton County Commissioner
According to the BC Elections and Passports office, two positions will each have three candidates on the ballot. So Ranked Choice Voting applies to each race. This is not including potential write-in candidates.
Xan Augerot – Democrat
Mike Beilstein – Pacific Green, Progressive
Tom Cordier – Republican
Nancy V Wyse – Democrat
John E Sarna – Republican
Cody Serdar – Libertarian
Voting and Voter Registration Resources
October 13 is the last day to register to vote for the November election, according to the Oregon Secretary of State. There are options to register online or at the Elections & Passports Division which is located in the basement of the Benton County Courthouse at 120 NW 4th Street, Room 13, Corvallis, Oregon 97330.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Election and Passport division requires an appointment for in-person assistance. call 541-766-6756 to schedule an appointment for help with voter registration, replacement ballots, absentee ballots, or other election-related needs.
The Secretary of State office also has a FAQ page for voters who are displaced by the Oregon wildfires.
Anyone who wishes to check on their voter registration status or the status of their ballot may use the Secretary of State’s My Vote website.
By Samantha Sied