[EM] IRV in SF and beyond (FWD)

DEMOREP1 at aol.com DEMOREP1 at aol.com
Sun Mar 10 16:22:31 PST 2002

D- More info about IRV in SF from another list

----Original Message Follows----
From: "Bill Gram-Reefer" <bill at votingsolutions.com>
To: "Wayne" <toronto at fairvotecanada.org>
Subject: IRV in SF and beyond
Date: Fri, 8 Mar 2002 11:17:12 -0800

Hello Wayne,

Legs are growing under IRV!

Below find a press announcement from the Center for Voting & Democracy
regarding the successful passage of Prop A in San Francisco, CA. Prop A
introduces Instant Runoff Voting (IRV) to the first major U.S. City.

This past Tuesday, towns throughout Vermont also approved resolutions
calling for the state legislature to implement instant runoff elections.
Meanwhile Alaska will consider a statewide referendum for IRV this fall;
New Mexico is looking into IRV and a first round of hearings took place
recently in the state of Washington where the city of Vancouver, WA has
already passed IRV.

In northern California, in addition to San Frnacisco, IRV is already in the
charters of Oakland, San Leandro and Santa Clara County, and is being
discussed in Berkeley.

Voting Solutions' ChoicePlus Pro provides the software solution needed to
count these sorts of ranked-ballot, preference-style elections and has been
used successfully by the City of Cambridge, MA and the NYC Community School
Boards elections.

For more information please contact me at 925-676-1974 or see Voting
Solutions' website: http://www.votingsolutions.com.

Best regards,

Bill Gram-Reefer
Voting Solutions


For Immediate Release Contact: Eric Olson, Deputy Director

March 6, 2002 (301) 270-4616

Big Vote for "Future of Reform"

San Francisco First Major City to Adopt Instant Runoff Voting;
Vermonters Endorse Instant Runoff Voting for Statewide Offices

The 2002 election cycle started with a bang yesterday, with reformers
winning big in ground-breaking votes on instant runoff voting in San
Francisco and town meetings across Vermont. San Franciscans voted 53%-
46% to adopt instant runoff voting for electing its most powerful
elected leaders despite well-funded opposition from backers of
traditional "delayed" runoffs. A Vermont League of Women Voters
proposal to use instant runoff voting for statewide elections swept
nearly every town meeting debating the issue.

Rob Richie, director of the Center for Voting and Democracy,
commented, "Even as Congress moves toward apparent passage of bills
to ban soft money in campaigns and modernize the way we run
elections, the thirst for a better democracy will continue. In cities
and states around the nation, democracy advocates are involved in new
efforts to improve our politics. Instant runoff voting is an
essential component of the future of reform."

Used for major elections in Australia, Ireland and Great Britain,
instant runoff voting ensures candidates win single-seat offices with
majority support. It accomplishes the goals of a traditional runoff
election in one efficient round of voting. Voters indicate both their
favorite and their runoff choices. If no candidate receives a
majority of first choices, the weak candidates are eliminated and
their supporters' votes are counted for their runoff choices. It
contrasts with conventional plurality elections which allow a
candidate to win without majority support and traditional runoff
elections which require two separate elections.

Vermont's majority requirement for governor has thrust instant runoff
voting onto the state agenda. Backers include Governor Howard Dean,
Secretary of State Deborah Markowitz, former New York Times columnist
Tom Wicker (who addressed his local town meeting) and the Grange.
More than 50 town meetings debated the issue; of the first 43
reporting results, 41 towns supported adoption of instant runoff
voting, most overwhelmingly.

In San Francisco, traditional "delayed" runoffs were seen as leading
to low turnout, unnecessary and costly demands on election
administrators and campaign finance abuses. Backers of instant runoff
voting included California House Assembly Leader Kevin Shelley, who
won the Democratic Party nomination for Secretary of State yesterday,
and the Sierra Club, San Francisco Labor Council, Common Cause, NOW,
Congress of California Seniors, Chinese for Affirmative Action,
Harvey Milk Club, Latino Democratic Club, Libertarian Party, Green
Party and California PIRG.

"This is a profound reform that could greatly improve elections in
San Francisco," said Doug Phelps, Chairman of the CalPIRG Board of
Directors and the National Association of State PIRGs Board. "Voters
will now be able to more accurately register their preferences on
election day."

Common Cause local and state organizations played a key role in both
San Francisco and Vermont. Scott Harshbarger, president of Common
Cause, said, "Instant runoff voting is an important tool for ensuring
that the will of the majority is reflected in electoral outcomes in
cases when multiple candidates vie for a single seat. I was pleased
to see local Common Cause leaders at the forefront of these

Chaired by former U.S. Congressman and 1980 presidential candidate
John B. Anderson, the Center is a non-partisan organization that
promotes fair elections.

On-line resources:



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