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Gov. Jerry Brown makes it crystal clear: He really doesn't like ranked-choice voting

 (Manuel Balce Ceneta / Associated Press)
(Manuel Balce Ceneta / Associated Press)

An effort to expand the use of ranked-choice voting in California, in which voters choose second- and third-choice candidates, was struck down by Gov. Jerry Brown this week with a pretty simple message.

He just doesn't like it.

"Ranked choice voting is overly complicated and confusing," wrote Brown in his veto message on Thursday.

The system is currently only in use in a handful of Bay Area elections, most notably used in cities such as San Francisco and Oakland.

Senate Bill 1288 would have allowed a number of California cities, counties and school districts to switch to the system that asks voters to rank their top candidate preferences.

The candidates receiving the most votes then move on to successive "rounds" where ballots that picked a now defeated candidate as the top choice are then redistributed based on the voters' next preference.

Brown certainly knows about ranked-choice voting as a former Oakland mayor and, until recently, an Alameda County resident. His veto message seemed not only a succinct rejection of SB 1288, but ranked-choice voting in general.

"At a time when we want to encourage more voter participation, we need to keep voting simple," he wrote in his veto message. "I believe it deprives voters of genuinely informed choice."

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