Strawberry brushcetta wins ranked choice voting demonstration

Tasting event shows how system works

PORT ANGELES — And the winner, by one vote, was … strawberry bruschetta.

The League of Women Voters of Clallam County declared the educational mixer held last Wednesday at the Red Lion Hotel to teach people about ranked choice voting to be a success.

“We had about 50 attendees. The presentation was extremely informative and there were lots of good questions,” Susan Fisch, League president, wrote in a Friday afternoon email.

“This illustrated how the second choices really had an impact on putting the winner over the top — meaning that if your first choice didn’t win, your vote still counted in a meaningful way,” she wrote.

The $20-per-person event featured a cash bar, a speaker, an interactive demonstration of what ranked choice voting is and how it works and five desserts:

• Strawberry Bruschetta with basil and chevre and balsamic reduction.

• Dungeness Crab Stuffed Mushroom Caps with saffron aioli.

• Stuffed Belgium Endive with blue cheese, dried fruit and candied nuts.

• Vegetable Cocktail Spring Rolls with sweet chili sauce.

• Deviled Eggs with and without bacon.

Participants tried all five and voted for their first, second and third choices to illustrate how ranked choice voting works.

According to Fisch, “Crab mushrooms and strawberry bruschetta had the most people, but neither had enough to get 51 percent of the vote. The last place deviled eggs then had to move to their second choice. Again, no winner.

“Next, Belgian endive had to move to their second choice. Again, no winner. Finally, vegetarian eggs rolls had to move to their second (or maybe third) choice and strawberry bruschetta won by one vote.”

Fisch also wrote, “I also learned that rank choice voting is not new. It was used early on in our country but was removed when it was clear that it was a way to give groups with less block voting power an equal chance. When I have time, I am going to do some research on this,” said Susan Fisch.

The League collaborated on the event with Sound Publishing and FairVoteWA.

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Reporter Brian Gawley can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 55650, or at brian.gawley@soundpublishing.com.

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