[EM] Instant Runoff Voting and the Exhaustive Ballot

Instant Runoff Voting supporter donald at mich.com
Sun Nov 26 04:09:38 PST 2000


     If we were to have an election and the leading candidate does not
receive a majority, no one has the right to declare him the winner. No,
because most of the voters wanted someone else. So, we need a solution.
     Do you believe that one solution would be to have a runoff between the
top two candidates? If so, you are in the majority. The concept of having a
runoff is well known and accepted by most, but it would only be a proper
solution for a three candidate race. Four or more needs Exhaustive Ballot,
which is a method that drops the new lowest candidates one by one, with
each drop being followed by a later runoff election. The mathematics of
Exhaustive Ballot will elect the correct candidate, but having that series
of extra elections is not acceptable. (a no no)
     Enter Instant Runoff Voting(IRV)!  IRV is Exhaustive Ballot without
the series of following runoff elections. In only one election, the voter
can make all his desired choices for every possible runoff. After the
election, any needed runoff can be calculated instantly - hence the term
Instant Runoff.
     The voters are allowed to make a series of choices when they vote.
They chose one candidate as their first choice, chose another as their
second choice, and they make as many choices as they care to make. No lower
choice will be used until it is necessary for it to be used. ("We will use
no choice before its time")
     One necessary time to use one of the lower choices is when the lowest
candidate is dropped and a runoff is needed. In the event this eliminated
candidate is your first choice selection, your vote will not be eliminated.
Instead we merely transfer your vote to your next choice on your ballot,
this is the runoff. Beats calling for an actual runoff election to be held
at a later date. This same routine will be followed with each new lowest
candidate as they are dropped, until we have a winner.
   It's that simple. There is no hidden agenda, no evil monster, no need
for the voter to go into gyrations with his choices trying to out-smart the
`system'. The voter can safely select his most preferred candidate as his
first choice, which he should do.

     There are many good people and organizations that are working hard to
promote IRV, they are doing good work. One organization is the Center for
Voting and Democracy which coined the term Instant Runoff Voting. Other
names for the same routine are: Alternative Vote, Choice Runoff, Majority
Preference Voting, Single-Seat STV, and Single-Winner STV. Bottoms Up is
the same routine but is for multi-seat elections. The runoff cycles stop
when the candidates have been reduced down to the number of seats to be
filled. Single Member STV is also the same routine but the term is used
when members of a lawmaking body are being elected in single seat
     In America the term Instant Runoff Voting is now the term of choice.
Next, we need to make Instant Runoff Voting the method of choice for single
seat elections.

Regards, Donald Davison, Host of New Democracy: www.mich.com/~donald

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