[EM] CVD -IRV Election Day 2000

DEMOREP1 at aol.com DEMOREP1 at aol.com
Tue Nov 7 12:51:56 PST 2000

IRV related part of a Center for Voting and Democracy report. The comments 
are those of CVD and NOT me.--

 Election Day Special: Predictions, Analysis, Reform

* Instant Runoff Voting to Qualify for Alaska Ballot

      - In late October, 35,000 signatures were turned into the

Alaska Division of Elections by supporters of an initiative to

enact instant runoff voting for all federal elections in Alaska

and nearly all state elections. Read an Associated Press wire



* Trenton Times endorses IRV, more strong commentary and

coverage of IRV in Wash. Post, NY Times, more

      - The Trenton Times (daily paper of New Jersey's

capital city) editorializes in favor of instant runoff voting, the

Washington Post and New York Times devote columns to

instant runoff voting non-majority winners an other writers

advocate instant runoff. See


There have been several other commentaries of note that tout

instant runoff voting, including:

      - CVD deputy director Eric Olson in Roll Call 

      - CVD's Rob Richie and Steven Hill in The Nation 

      - Former NY Times columnist Tom Wicker in TomPaine

      - Michael Lind column in the New York Times 

      - Eric Olson letter in the Washington Post 

      - John Anderson column that appeared in Cincinnati

        Enquirer, Miami Herald, Detroit Free Press, more

See http://www.fairvote.org/op_eds/fall_irv_pubs.htm

* IRV Support Across the Spectrum: Statements of Support

from Pat Buchanan, Vermont League of Women Voters and

Sierra Club Executive Director

      - Instant runoff voting has demonstrated the capacity to

gain support from across the spectrum. Earlier this year, the

Vermont League of Women Voters, Vermont Common Cause

and Vermont Grange all backed state legislation in Vermont to

enact instant runoff voting for statewide elections. The Alaska

Republican Party voted to make instant runoff voting its

number one legislative priority. Just in recent weeks, political

oddfellows Pat Buchanan, the Reform Party's presidential

candidate, and the Sierra Club's executive director Carl Pope

expressed support for instant runoff.

      Buchanan touted instant runoff voting on a radio

program on October 29 called "Beyond the Beltway." Pope

wrote in a recent letter to the magazine In These Times that:

"[Instant runoff voting] probably should be tested, and could

eliminate the spoiler problem that has dogged third parties in

this country since the 1840s. So let's support preference

voting, not spoil an election."

      Both Buchanan and Pope have struggled with the

"spoiler problem" in our current plurality voting system --

Buchanan as a third party candidate and Pope as a supporter of

Al Gore concerned about the Ralph Nader candidacy. The

Gore-Nader controversy has raged in progressive circles (as

debated in the Richie-Hill commentary in the Nation mentioned

above) and caused great energy devoted to tactical approaches

to avoid the spoiler problem. One recent example is

http://www.votepact.com, in which supporters of third party

candidates who have decided to instead vote for a major party

candidate would find a supporter of the other major party

candidate making a similar calculation and agree to both

"cancel" each other's support out by both voting for their minor

party candidate of choice. (Note that a recent poll showed that

5% of Al Gore and George Bush would vote for Ralph Nader

if they believed their vote for him would not be wasted. If true,

that would make his percentage close to 10% of the national


      Rather than accept these tortuous calculations and

tactics, we urge people to join the growing coalition behind

instant runoff voting and bury the "spoiler" charge once and for


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