Post election press release


Lane County petitioners celebrate historic first campaign to institute STAR Voting

Eugene, OR November 7, 2018 Campaign organizers and volunteers gathered Tuesday night to watch the election returns roll in for the world’s first campaign to institute STAR Voting in public elections. STAR Voting would have replaced Lane County’s “Top Two” primary/general election system with a single November election using STAR Voting. STAR Voting allows voters to support candidates on a 0-5 scale, and elects the majority favorite between the two top-scoring candidates. Although the final tally was 42.0% in favor and 46.4% opposed, with 11.6% abstaining, campaign supporters were jubilant.

“Almost 75,000 Lane County voters chose YES to support a fundamentally new political process,” said Co-Petitioner Mark Frohnmayer. “This result, for a brand new system that many voters only learned about when they received their ballots three weeks ago, is simply phenomenal. It speaks to voters’ frustration with the political status quo, the long term political viability, and the common sense accessibility of the STAR Voting reform. We are deeply grateful for the incredible support from our volunteer team and our peers around the county. We’re just getting started.”

If measure 20-290 had passed, Lane County, OR would have been the first in the world to adopt a voting method in which every citizen’s vote carries equal voting power. The fundamental inequality with the current “Chose-One-Only” ballot comes from vote-splitting, where similar candidates can leave supporters divided and conquered, allowing a candidate who was opposed by the majority to win. Vote splitting is at the root of the Spoiler Effect, which then leads to polarization, strategic voting, and wasted votes.

Campaign manager Sara Wolf had this to say, “Voters we talked with were overwhelmingly positive and supportive of STAR Voting once they had the chance to learn about it. Unfortunately, we did hear from a number of voters who had left the question blank on their ballots due to confusion on the ballot language. The ballot title referred to Score-Then-Automatic-Runoff Voting but didn’t use the more common name, STAR Voting. The number of voters who left the question blank was more than double the amount needed to have secured a win, so this may have been a significant factor.”

“This narrow loss has stoked our fire and has left us hungry for more. We went into this as impassioned and inspired election reformers. We came out seasoned organizers with a stellar proposal, top-notch educational materials, a committed canvassing team, and over 70,000 new fans. This is only the beginning. Look out 2020!”

The campaign plans to “Open Source” all of the educational materials it created as a STAR as a campaign starter kit for reformers around the country. 


20-290 Score Then Automatic Runoff

aka. STAR Voting for Lane County  


Yes: 74408    42.0%

No: 82157      46.4%

Abstain: 20534   11.6%

Total votes: 156565


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How much could Lane County save if it adopted STAR Voting for all local elections?

A number of folks have asked us what the cost implications will be of implementing STAR Voting in Lane County. This is a difficult question to answer with a high degree of certainty, but we can do a broad analysis that shows both the short- and long-term financial advantages of implementing STAR Voting.

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STAR Voting on Nov ballot!

Wow, it's been a long time since we updated this website -- too busy gathering signatures to get STAR Voting on the November ballot. But we've succeeded!

Lane County voters will have the opportunity this fall to institute an exciting new reform, replacing the "top-two jungle primary" system we currently use for elected county offices with STAR Voting! The response to our initiative petitioning was overwhelmingly positive, showing the hunger voters (and non-voters!) have for a better way to vote and elect people to public office.

Now we have to get it passed, which means we have to reach a lot more people before voting begins in October so they will understand STAR Voting and why it is so important to pass it. WE STILL NEED YOUR HELP! Practice explaining STAR Voting, and then talk about it to your friends and family members who live in Lane County. (This includes the cities of Eugene, Springfield, Cottage Grove, Florence, Junction City, MacKenzie River, and Creswell, along with several smaller towns.)

If you know any prominent people in Lane County, ask them to endorse STAR Voting. If you belong to a civic group, ask them to endorse. Email us ( if you'd like one of us to speak to your group. Write to your local newspaper about why you like STAR Voting. If you are on FaceBook, follow our FB page and share it with your FB friends.

Let's get the word out to as many Lane County voters as possible and make this happen!

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And We're Off!!


Lane County Elections has reviewed our petition forms and declared us authorized to gather signatures! We will be kicking off the signature drive Saturday, January 20th at the Women's March. Look for the floating star balloons and join the petition. We hope to see you there!

-Alan and Mark (Chief Petitioners)

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