Sara Wolk
County Democrat Reader
3 min readAug 3, 2018


STAR Voting For Lane County Initiative approved for November ballot: New voting system sets critical precedent for fair elections

By Mark Frohnmayer, Hallie Roberts, Alan Zundel, and Sara Wolk

Eugene, Oregon — June 6, 2018 — The STAR Voting For Lane County Campaign announced today that Lane County Elections officials have certified more than the 11,506 required signatures needed to qualify a County Charter Amendment for the November 6th, 2018 ballot. The STAR Voting initiative would change the voting method for elected county officials.

Currently, Lane County has a non-partisan primary and then a top-two general election. The STAR Voting initiative would replace both elections with a single November election using the STAR Voting method.

In the new STAR Voting election voters score each candidate from 0, meaning no support, to 5, which represents maximum support. STAR stands for Score-Then-Automatic-Runoff. The two highest scoring candidates advance to an automatic runoff. The finalist who was scored higher by more voters wins. If the initiative is adopted, Lane County voters will use STAR Voting to elect county commissioners, the county sheriff, and county assessor.

Sample ballot

Co-petitioner and political scientist Alan Zundel, said “we are thrilled that Lane County voters have responded so positively to our signature campaign. STAR Voting will be a game-changer for improving our electoral process.”

Mark Frohnmayer, President of the Eugene based electric vehicle company Arcimoto and co-petitioner for the STAR Voting Initiative, added, “we believe this reform will be a big improvement: it’ll save candidates and voters the time, money, and hassle of two elections to make the same choice, it’ll allow candidates to campaign during the warm summer months instead of knocking doors in the winter rain, and we’ll finally be able to support candidates we really like, without having to consider how much backing they have or who the polls say are the ‘viable’ candidates.”

The STAR Voting For Lane County Campaign collected well over the necessary 11,506 signatures from Lane County voters with the help of nearly 50 volunteers, active citizens and community members who started collecting signatures at the Women’s March in January and finished on Independence Day. The initiative was nearly identical to a twin proposal for Multnomah County that didn’t make the ballot this round.

“Asking our fellow citizens to discuss the next evolution of democracy on this July 4th was a revolutionary moment in my life,’’ said Campaign Manager Hallie Roberts.

The STAR Voting proposal comes from the Equal Vote Coalition, a non-profit dedicated to promoting true equality in the vote itself. If passed, STAR Voting would be the first voting method to offer a truly equally weighted vote. This is the key to elections that don’t advantage some voters over others, and to solving the notorious Spoiler Effect, which can cause a majority faction to lose an election due to vote splitting. The hope is that Lane County will serve as a model for fair and equal elections across the nation.

To learn more or get involved go to and

To support the STAR Voting initiative in Lane County go to

To support the continuing effort for STAR Voting in Multnomah County donate to the crowdfund at:

You can use STAR Voting for yourself using the web app.



Sara Wolk
County Democrat Reader

Systems design, electoral reform, music, regenerative agriculture, natural building.