Immediate Action Needed
Charleston Resolution of Support of Instant Runoff Voting
Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg will introduce a resolution of support at the next City Council meeting (December 19, 5pm, City Hall, Agenda). This resolution will be read and voted on at this meeting.
We need you to show the council members of Charleston that you support this common sense upgrade to the way that we vote.
How can you help?
Send an email to your city council member
Find below the contact emails for the members of Charleston City Council. If you are unsure what district you live in, visit Charleston's interactive map. Select additional layers and then "City Council Districts Fall 2023."
|Karl Brady, Jr.
|[email protected], cc: [email protected]
|Peter Shahid, Jr.
Not sure what to write? Feel free to use the below as a guide. We encourage personalization to better communicate with council members the specific reasons why you support instant runoff voting
"Dear Council Member _____,
Thank you for your service to our wonderful city. Your hard work on the council helps make Charleston a great place to live and work.
It has come to my attention that a resolution in support of instant runoff voting will be read at the upcoming council meeting on the 19th of December. I am very much in favor of this resolution and encourage you to vote in favor of it. There is a bill in the statehouse (H.4022) that would give municipalities the option of using instant runoff voting. It is my hope that the passing of this resolution will help show the necessary support for H.4022 and allow for its passage. This resolution will not change Charleston's elections, but it will help create the option for the future.
If you are unfamiliar with it, instant runoff voting is a simple upgrade to the way that we vote that would eliminate costly, low attended runoffs while still ensuring majority support. Voters would rank their candidates in the order that they prefer them, as many or as few as they want. If a candidate reaches a majority, they win. If not, the instant runoff is triggered. Since voters have already ranked their candidates, we know how they would vote in the event of a runoff. The candidate with the lowest vote total is eliminated and anyone who voted for them has their second choice activated. If a candidate still hasn't reached a majority, this process repeats until a candidate wins. While this may seem complex, the voter experience is simple. We have been ranking things all our lives. This upgrade to our elections would give voters more voice and more choice.
In addition to saving the City of Charleston the $105,000 in election costs associated with the runoffs, instant runoff voting has been shown to reduce mudslinging and polarization. It also eliminates vote splitting, allowing voters to vote for their top pick rather than strategically. Millions of Americans already vote using instant runoff voting including our overseas military and absentee voters. All South Carolinians should have this option. Please vote in favor of the instant runoff voting resolution.
Thank you for your time.
If you have any questions or comments about emailing your representatives, please email us at [email protected].
Speak in favor of instant runoff voting at the City Council meeting
While messages to our elected officials are important, even more important is speaking publicly at the city council meeting about instant runoff voting. The City Council will hear these comments before voting on the resolution.
Sign up to speak now. Space is limited.
How to speak:
Any person who speaks at a City Council meeting shall conduct himself or herself in a manner appropriate to the decorum of the meeting and is asked to observe Section 2-28 (a) of the Code of the City of Charleston, Rules of Decorum. Violation of the Rules of Decorum may result in losing the opportunity to speak before Council and/or removal from the meeting. Citizens may sign-up to speak in person at the Council meeting until 5:00 p.m. at the
If participating virtually, citizens may use one of the following methods to request to speak at the meeting or provide comments for City Council. Requests to speak at the meeting and comments must be received by 12:00 p.m., Monday, December 18th:
1. Request to speak (via Zoom or telephone) or leave a comment via voice mail at 843-579-6313. If requesting to speak, please provide your name and telephone number;
2. Request to speak (via Zoom or telephone) or leave a comment for City Council by completing the form at http://innovate.charleston-sc.gov/comments/.
3. Mail comments to: Clerk of Council, 80 Broad Street, Charleston, SC 29401
What to say:
Speak from the heart. There will be a limited amount of time to speak, usually only a minute. Make your arguments short and to the point. If you have a personal story about why instant runoff voting would improve your life, please share it. Some possibilities include, but are not limited to: difficulty returning for the runoffs or stories of a particularly nasty campaign season and how this would improve it.
If you have any questions about this process or would like us to review your statement, please email us at [email protected].