|Details for: Instant Runoff Voting|
Instant Runoff Voting!
runoff voting assures majority rule rather than simply allowing the candidate
with the highest vote total in a multi-candidate race to win. Under existing
law, a "winner" might actually be the candidate the majority of the
voters consider to be the WORST choice.
IRV is usually less expensive than two-round runoff voting, because polls need to be staffed, and ballots need to be printed only once. When an election would not have required an actual runoff round, IRV may be more expensive. Records of the San Francisco Department of Elections show that before IRV, a runoff round was required far more often than not in that city, where in 2000, 9 out of 10 contested races went to runoffs.
At a national level IRV is used to elect the Australian House of Representatives, the President of Ireland, the national parliament of Papua New Guinea and the Fijian House of Representatives. In the United States, it was used historically in various places, such as Ann Arbor, Michigan, later rescinded, and has recently been adopted in a number of local jurisdictions, most notably San Francisco. In the United Kingdom, a form of IRV is used to elect the mayor of London.
Instant Runoff Voting Works.
Forms of IRV have been implemented in cities using optical scan machines, as in San Francisco, California and Burlington, Vermont. A hand count also is possible under IRV and was the method used in the Cary, North Carolina pilot program in October, 2007 (after initially counting first choices on optical scan equipment at the polls) and in most non-U.S. jurisdictions; however it is usually more time-consuming than a plurality count, and may need to occur over a number of rounds.
Plurality supporters point to the fact that most elections in the U.S. use plurality voting, and voters seem to accept plurality winners as legitimate. The fact that some revered leaders, such as Abraham Lincoln, did not receive a majority of the vote is sometimes mentioned.
It can be claimed that the spoiler effect is not a weakness but a strength because it encourages and rewards like-minded candidates and voters to work together before the election. This encourages the formation of strong coalitions or parties, who attempt to best represent a collective position to the largest set of voters they can. Thus once an election is held, all compromising work has been completed and it's up to the voters to decide a first choice and accept the results as best.
Then there is the status quo to content with; Because IRV would dramatically alter the way we elect members of congress and the president, there is great resistance from both major parties. Since IRV would allow people to vote for the preferred candidate, and also for the candidate that is likely to win, without fear that a vote for their favorite candidate would cause their second choice candidate to lose. Both parties fear that the minority third parties like the green party, or the independent party might actually gain power and win elections.
The real reason to support IRV is that we as voters actually get a chance to elect the people that can do the most good, and not the "lesser of two evils" choice that we are stuck with now. We need to make sweeping changes in this country, starting with how we vote and who gets elected, in order to really start addressing the climate changes and biosphere collapse that we are seeing now.Parts of this letter are from Wikipeida