[EM] San Francisco pairwise tallies

Justin Sampson justin at krasama.com
Thu Nov 11 21:36:26 PST 2004

On Thu, 11 Nov 2004, Bart Ingles wrote:

> I'm surprised the complete ballots were available in a form that would 
> allow pairwise tallies.

Yeah, that was pretty cool. I don't know whose idea it was, but the Center
for Voting and Democracy has been closely involved in the whole process.
(They wrote the IRV proposition in 2002.) I asked the Department of
Elections about it myself before I discovered they were already planning
to do it.

> From the Chronicle article I saw, it looked as though _none_ of the 
> four races requiring a second round ended up with the eventual winner 
> recieving a majority of votes.  Did this turn out to be the case?

Yes, I made the same observation based on the pairwise tallies. On the
other hand, Steven Hill of the Center for Voting and Democracy points out
that "all winners were elected with many more votes than in previous races
for Supervisor", presumably because of the typically low turnout at
December run-off elections and the abnormally high turnout of this


> If so, I wonder if SF removed the "majority" requirment from their city 
> charter when IRV was implemented.  Could be messy otherwise.

The San Francisco Public Library maintains an online collection of
historical voter information pamphlets back to 1907, including the legal
text that was to be removed and added, here:


The IRV amendment was Proposition A in March, 2002. The requirement for a
runoff election if no candidate received a majority was repealed and
replaced with IRV.

The total current Charter and Elections Code are linked from here:



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