Tuesday night results of a few ballot initiatives of interest to Granite Geek types:

In Maine, there was an effort to allow ranked-choice voting for all statewide and federal elections (not local races). That system is one of several alternatives to the one-man-one-vote-for-one-candidate, “first past the post” system that prevails in most elections. Geeks love alternative voting systems because it feeds into the belief (hope?) that the correct algorithm can fix anything, can even change messy human behavior into something logical and pure. Here is background from my column last month.

(Updated) The initiative won, 52 percent to 48 percent.There will probably be some sort of a court challenge.

In Florida, there were two non-binding ballot initiatives asking residents in Key Haven and Monroe County whether they’d be in favor of allowing their local health departments to run trials looking at the effectiveness of genetically modified mosquitoes, containing genes that make them self-destructive. The question is whether these modified bugs can make a dent in the local populations of the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which carries Zika and other deadly viruses. Anti-GMO folks have been opposed. Here’s good background from Vox.

UPDATE – I was wrong: One initiative was supported and one was rejected. but, again, this is non-binding

Also in Florida, a confusing anti-solar initiative that looked like a pro-solar initiative failed to get the 60 percent support needed to win. Miami Herald story here.

In Washington state, a proposal for the nation’s first carbon tax went down to defeat. It was controversial even among environmentalists, for complex reasons. Seattle Times story here.


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