Last April, the city council voted to use a ranked-choice voting ballot for the city and mayoral elections held in November 2021. Both races went through multiple rounds of ranked-choice eliminations, and ultimately, current Mayor Joette Langianese and Councilmembers Jason Taylor and Luke Wojciechowski were elected.
This was the first year Moab participated in ranked-choice voting. The city released a survey late last year to gather residents’ thoughts on the system: City Recorder Sommar Johnson presented the results of the survey at the city council meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 22. The survey had 103 responses.
“For the most part, I don’t know that we had a lot of voter excitement for ranked-choice voting,” Johnson said. Of the respondents, only 31% said ranked-choice voting was “very easy” to use; 22% said it was “somewhat difficult” and 14% said it was “very difficult.”
45% of respondents said they “very much disliked” ranked-choice voting; 28% responded that they “very much liked” it—of the voting experience as a whole, the majority of respondents said they were “very dissatisfied.”
“It doesn’t look like it was a very popular way to go,” Johnson said. “But it was a good trial.”
According to Johnson, there were 1,856 ballots counted in the November city election out of the 3,249 eligible voters in the City, meaning voter turnout was only 57.13%.
“I’m not surprised at the results at all,” said Councilmember Tawny Knuteson-Boyd. “I’m glad we’re not locked into it.”
“As someone who ran, it was way easier to streamline a campaign doing ranked-choice, as opposed to having to do a primary election first,” Taylor said. “But that’s not what it’s about—it’s about access for voters and making it easy for them to vote.”