[FairVoteOR] Why 3 and not 4? (fwd)

Forest Simmons fsimmons at pcc.edu
Fri Sep 14 10:47:38 PDT 2001

Here is an interesting exchange from the FairVoteOR list:

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Sat, 11 Aug 2001 14:15:25 -0700
From: Fillard Rhyne <fillard at hevanet.com>
To: FairVoteOR <FairVoteOR at yahoogroups.com>
Subject: Re: [FairVoteOR] Why 3 and not 4?

>SM> Does anyone know why we are being offered to rank 3 instead of
>SM> four candidates?

Ideally, an instant runoff ballot would allow you to mark an
unlimited number of choices. For example, Cambridge, Massachusetts
uses a system closely related to instant runoff, and if there are
20 candidates printed on the ballot, they get to rank 20 choices.

However, most of the ballot-scanning machines currently used in
Oregon can't read more than three ovals in any one row. Since we
feel ballots are most intuitive when all the ovals for a single
candidate can be laid out in a single row, we decided to allow
elections officials to limit the number of choices to as few as 3.
The phrasing we use in the initiative is "at least 3", thereby
leaving the door open for elections officials to allow more than 3
choices in the future when ballot-scanning machines are more

>SM> It seems like by choosing 3 that you are likely to
>SM> eliminate a third-party candidate in the first round. Wouldn't
>SM> it be possible for a 3rd party candidate to win on the second
>SM> round of balloting even if they ranked third out of 4 in the
>SM> first round?

No, it isn't. Why don't you give me a call at 503-777-VOTE and we
can talk about it, and I can send you some petitions. Also, I
encourage you to attend this Tuesday's petitioners' orientation at
6pm at the PSU Smith Memorial Center in the Cascade Room (i.e. 1825
SW Broadway, Room 236).

Thanks for your help!


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