'Approval voting' is a method of voting that allows an elector to cast a vote for as many of the candidates per office as the elector chooses. The winner of each office is the candidate who receives the most votes or, for elections in which multiple candidates fill open seats, the winners are those candidates, in a number equal to the number of seats being filled, attaining the greatest number of votes.
The bill authorizes cities, towns, counties, cities and counties, school districts, and special districts (collectively, 'local governments') to conduct nonpartisan elections using approval voting on and after November 1, 2017. A nonpartisan election is an election in which the political party affiliations of candidates are not printed on the ballot.
The secretary of state is directed to adopt rules and provide advice to local governments regarding approval voting and to submit a report by February 15, 2020, regarding approval voting to the state, veterans, and military affairs committees of the general assembly.
County clerk and recorders may decline to coordinate an election if a local government elects to employ approval voting in the election.
The bill makes necessary modifications to current law occasioned by the use of approval voting, such as excluding approval voting from the definition of 'overvote' and adjusting provisions prescribing the form of ballots and automatic recount triggers.
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as introduced.)