Preferential voting (FWD)

Bart Ingles bartman at
Tue Sep 29 17:51:23 PDT 1998

New Democracy wrote:
>   ---------- Forwarded Letter ----------
> >From: Tom Condit <tomcondit at>
> >Subject: Preferential voting

> >[lines deleted]

> >Couldn't preferential voting be done with a multi-row punch card, the way
> >they do machine-scored multiple choice tests? There'd still be a potential
> >for screwed up ballots, but it would greatly speed up the process of finding
> >them.

I would have thought that any serious proposal for a ranked voting
system, at least for a large jurisdiction, would either require or be
contingent upon the availability of voting equipment that allowed ranked
voting electronically.  BTW, here in Santa Clara County (including San
Jose, CA) there is a referendum (Measure F) to authorize the adoption of
IRO whenever such technology becomes available.  Here is the language,
according to the Santa Clara Libertarian:

Measure F:  Shall the County of Santa Clara add section 208 stating,
"Nothing in this Charter shall preclude the Board of Supervisors from
authorizing an instant run-off voting system for the November general
election, which eliminates the need for run-off elections, when such
technology is available to the county?"

Interestingly, the Chairman of the Libertarian Party of Santa Clara
County is one of the signers of the opposing ballot argument, on the
grounds that the measure is too vague (it doesn't define the IRO method,
for one thing).  He says he favors the idea of IRO in general, though.

At a recent LPSCC meeting a member of CVD gave a presentation on IRO and
PR, and was received with great interest.  Most LP members present
appeared to have little or no prior knowlege of the subject, but most or
all reacted very favorably to the idea.  Of course nobody mentioned
Condorcet, etc., but the speaker generally was open-ended, and made it
clear that there were different approaches to election reform.

Bart Ingles

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