[Election-Methods] Fwd: FYI - FairVote MN Responds to Lawsuit Against IRV

Dave Ketchum davek at clarityconnect.com
Sun Dec 23 20:56:59 PST 2007

I have to hope the lawsuit fails, for it is attacking ranked choice, which 
is a good way to give voters power.

Could wish for attacking weaknesses of IRV, for it is too ready to declare 
undeserving candidates as winners.

Related to this, I question whether the many claiming to understand IRV 
speak from ACTUALLY understanding its weaknesses.


On Sat, 22 Dec 2007 22:12:04 -0700 Kathy Dopp wrote:
> -
> What do you think of this lawsuit?
> Kathy
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> From: Raging Grannie (Wanda B) <wsb70 at comcast.net>
> Date: Dec 22, 2007 8:19 PM
> Subject: FYI - FairVote MN Responds to Lawsuit Against IRV
> go to <http://fairvotemn.org>FairVoteMN.org if you have trouble viewing
> this newsletter
> \"FairVote
> []
> For immediate release
> Contact: Kelly O’Brien,
> <mailto:kellyobrien at visi.com>kellyobrien at visi.com, 612-227-9102
> Jeanne Massey,
> <mailto:jeanne.massey at fairvotemn.org>jeanne.massey at fairvotemn.org, 763-807-2550
> FairVote Minnesota Responds to Lawsuit Against Instant Runoff Voting
> Minneapolis, MN (December 20, 2007)—FairVote Minnesota, a nonprofit,
> nonpartisan organization leading the effort to institute instant runoff
> voting in Minnesota, is issuing a response to news of a lawsuit brought
> against the City of Minneapolis and various elected officials by an Eden
> Prairie-based organization that is opposed to the pending use of instant
> runoff voting (a.k.a. single transferable vote or ranked choice voting) in
> the City of Minneapolis.
> The lawsuit alleges that instant runoff voting (IRV) is unconstitutional
> and violates the principle of “one person, one vote.† Additionally, the
> plaintiffs contend that voters won’t understand how to vote using instant
> runoff voting.
> FairVote Minnesota presents the following facts as guidance in the
> discussion of this lawsuit.
> 1. IRV has been upheld on the principle of "one person, one vote" in legal
> challenges following its adoption in Cambridge, Mass. (Moore v. Election
> Commissioners of Cambridge (1941) and in Ann Arbor, Mich. (Stephenson v.
> Ann Arbor Board of Canvassers (1975).
> Sources:
> <http://www.rwinters.com/docs/moore.htm>http://www.rwinters.com/docs/moore.htm;
> http://www.fairvote.org/library/statutes/legal/irv.htm
> 2. No legal challenges are threatening instant runoff voting anywhere it's
> in use—San Francisco, Calif.; Cambridge, Mass.; Burlington, Vermont; Takoma
> Park, Maryland and Cary and Hendersonville, North Carolina.
> 3. Election exit polls in cities using IRV all show voters in overwhelming
> numbers not only understand IRV, but prefer it to the old way of voting.
> The share of voters indicating they understood IRV well or very well the
> first time using IRV: San Francisco – 87%, Burlington – 89%; Takoma Park –
> 88%; 8%; Cary – 95%; Hendersonville – 86%.
> <http://www.fairvotemn.org//sites/fairvotemn.org/files/Exit%2520Survey%2520Summary_2007_FINAL.doc>http://www.fairvotemn.org/sites/fairvotemn.org/files/Exit%20Survey%20Summary_2007_FINAL.doc
> 4. As discussed in an opinion piece in the September 30, 2007 Star Tribune
> by attorney and professor David Schultz, the 1915 legal case cited in the
> lawsuit, Brown v. Smallwood, was not about instant runoff voting. It was
> about a voting method that effectively gave Duluth citizens two votes in
> some situations, a clear violation of both the Minnesota and United States
> constitutions. The concern of that decision was based on what the courts
> now call the "one person, one vote" standard. IRV does not violate this
> standard because it does not give anyone two votes. It simply allows voters
> to rank their preferred candidates.
> 5. Schultz further explained that since 1915 American democracy has
> matured. The political process now seeks to provide more choices for voters
> than it once did, as evidenced by numerous ballot access court decisions
> that have made it possible for third party candidates such as Jesse Ventura
> to run for office. The courts, mindful of voters’ demands for more
> options when voting, have properly responded to the demand of citizens in
> interpreting election laws to empower and not limit options on election day.
> 6. The lawsuit’s plaintiffs advocate to keep low-turnout municipal
> primaries and to make them partisan to ensure all parties are represented
> on the ballot. However, IRV shares the goal of ensuring choice on the
> ballot. In fact, it makes sure that all candidates appear on the general
> election ballot, regardless of party. With IRV, no candidate can be
> eliminated in a low-turnout election whose chances might be different in a
> general election.
> The following are suggested sources for further information on instant
> runoff voting.
> Prof. David Schultz, Hamline University. 651-523-2858
> Rob Richie, executive director, FairVote (national). 301-270-4616
> Tony Solgard, former president, FairVote Minnesota. 612-242-5642
> Jeanne Massey, executive director, FairVote Minnesota. 612-850-6897
> Council Member Elizabeth Glidden, chair of Minneapolis elections committee.
> 612-673-2208
> Steven Hill, director, Political Reform Program, New America Foundation.
> 415-810-2701, or office 415-665-5044
> Municipal Voting System Reform: Overcoming the Legal Obstacles by Tony
> Solgard and Paul Landskroener in Bench & Bar of Minnesota, October 2002:
> www2.mnbar.org/benchandbar/2002/oct02/voting.htm
> <http://www.fairvotemn.org>www.fairvotemn.org
> www.fairvote.org (national)
> ###
> Let Star Tribune and Pioneer Press readers know that Instant Runoff Voting
> is constitutional and why you support it!
> Send letters to Star Tribune:
> By e-mail:<opinion at startribune.htm> opinion at startribune.com
> By mail: Editorial Department, Star Tribune, 425 Portland Ave.,
> Minneapolis, MN 55488
> By fax: 612-673-4359
> Articles:
> <http://www.startribune.com/politics/state/12665581.html>Rochelle Olson:
> Instant runoff voting has its first hurdle - a lawsuit
> <http://www.startribune.com/local/12659276.html>Steve Karnowski: Lawsuit
> challenges Minneapolis instant runoff voting system
> Send letters to Pioneer Press:
> By e-mail: <letters at pioneerpress.htm>letters at pioneerpress.com
> By mail: Pioneer Press, 345 Cedar Street, St. Paul, MN 55101
> By fax: (651) 228-5564.
> Articles:
> <http://www.twincities.com//ci_7773789?IADID=Search-www.twincities.com-www.twincities.com>Steve
> Karnowski: Lawsuit challenges Minneapolis instant runoff voting system
> \"Make
> <http://www.mapquest.com/maps/map.adp?formtype=address&addtohistory=&address=75%20Rev%20Dr%20Martin%20Luther%20King%20Jr%20Blvd&city=Saint%20Paul&state=MN&zipcode=55155%2d1605&country=US&geodiff=1>Donate
> Now!
> []
> <http://www.fairvotemn.org//contact/contact.html>FairVote MN Privacy Policy
> <http://fairvotemn.org>FairVote Minnesota
> PO Box 19440
> Minneapolis, MN 55419-0440
> <info at FairVoteMN.htm>info at FairVoteMN.org
> (763) 807-2550
  davek at clarityconnect.com    people.clarityconnect.com/webpages3/davek
  Dave Ketchum   108 Halstead Ave, Owego, NY  13827-1708   607-687-5026
            Do to no one what you would not want done to you.
                  If you want peace, work for justice.

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