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Lane County Effort To Change Voting System Fails

<p>Staff count&nbsp;ballots at the Multnomah County Elections Office in Portland, Ore. on Nov. 6, 2018.</p>

Nate Sjol

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Staff count ballots at the Multnomah County Elections Office in Portland, Ore. on Nov. 6, 2018.

An effort to change the way people are elected in Lane County, Oregon, has failed.

The STAR, or Score, Then Automatic Runoff system, would have let voters award each candidate a score. They could mark a zero for no support and five for the greatest support.

The two candidates with the highest cumulative scores would then go to an instant runoff.

Supports say the present winner-take-all method sometimes forces voters to support the least objectionable candidate. They say it can also lead to situations where candidates with similar views split the vote and a so-called “spoiler” emerges.

The measure was being pushed by Alan Zundel, a former political science professor who ran for Secretary of State in 2016. It failed by 52 percent to 48 percent.

Copyright 2018 Oregon Public Broadcasting

Kristian Foden-Vencil is a reporter and producer for Oregon Public Broadcasting. He specializes in health care, business, politics, law and public safety.