[EM] IRV heads into the ditch

Kathy Dopp kathy.dopp at gmail.com
Thu Mar 4 12:13:34 PST 2010

Good article that some of you may enjoy.

IRV heads into the ditch. Hopefully list will grow.
Thursday, March 4, 2010 They ditched instant runoff voting -
Burlington, Aspen, Cary, and Pierce CO

The list of places that have rejected instant runoff voting grows.
Aspen Colorado, Cary North Carolina, Pierce County Washington,
Burlington Vermont, the Utah Republican Party and even Georgetown
University. San Francisco may be next as people get fed up and even
now a lawsuit has been filed.

Burlington is the latest to ditch IRV. On March 2, 2010 Burlington
voters voted to repeal IRV. Voters decided that they would tell the
politicians how they preferred to vote rather than let the politicians
tell them. The grassroots stood up to a huge influx of out of state
pro IRV dollars and to big politicians' last minute lobbying and robo
calls. 7315 voters voted on the question in 2005, 326 less than this
year. The difference between then and now is experience:

"Being charmed by it ideologically is quite different from
experiencing how it twists the results of an election." - Lea Terhune
of Repeal IRV blog.


Burlington rejects instant runoff voting March 3, 2010
...Ewing, a longtime Democratic leader in the city, called the measure
a principled effort to repeal an overly complicated system, “a system
which, on paper, persuaded people to give it a try but in reality
resulted in a very confusing and poor system.”
Whatever the motive, FairVote, a Takoma, Md., group which supports
IRV, as well as the League of Women Voters and Vermont Public Interest
Research Group, showed interest in the outcome in a traditional way —
they gave money. The League gave just $400, but VPIRG gave $10,000 and
FairVote, $6,500, significant amounts for a small-city local ballot

Councilor Calls for Mayor Bob Kiss to Resign March 3, 2010
...Adrian said the defeat of instant-runoff voting, combined with the
city council losses of two Progressives, and the loss of a Democratic
ally of the mayor send a clear message that voters have lost
confidence in the city's top elected official.

After the Burlington Vermont 2009 IRV mayor election , reports showed
that the election suffered from just about every pathology in the
book: thwarted-majority, non-monotonicity, spoiler effect & other
failures. See Nov 5, 2009 Burlington IRV repeal picks up momentum
"...A lot of people think the mayor's race was invalid, that we have
an invalid mayor..."

DITCHED ON JAN 7, 2010 Utah Republican Party
Utah Republican Convention Change Could Change Strategy for Candidates
There’s one big change coming to the Republican State Convention in
May. The central committee has scrapped “instant run-off voting” in
favor of the more traditional multiple-ballot system to determine
their nominees.

IRV still fails after all of the
ballots counted November 17, 2009
November 3, 2009 Aspen rejects Instant Runoff Voting — by six votes.
The city of Aspen launched its first-ever IRV election this past May.
Shortly thereafter, doubts among elected officials and some residents
surfaced as to whether the method was the best way to elect a mayor
and City Council members.
Also see Aspen Election Review May 5 2009 IRV single ballot audit unit

Majority of Pierce County voters reject Instant Runoff Voting on Nov 3
Instant runoff voting was rejected by an overwhelming majority of
Pierce County Washington Voters. 44,145 of 64,106 voters said yes to
ditching instant runoff voting, also called ranked choice voting. That
is 71.76% for eliminating IRV and 28.24% who wanted to keep IRV.
Pierce voters ditch instant runoff voting - save $500K for taxpayers immediately
Nov 10 2009... Voters' repeal of Ranked-Choice Voting last week also
freed-up $500,000 would have been needed to implement the voting
system for the 2010 election.
Also see Voters changing their minds on ranked-choice
Background: A poll from 2008 showed that 63% of Pierce County WA
voters don't like Ranked Choice Voting. That is 56,751 out of 90,738
Pierce County voters who answered a questionnaire included with their
ballots that asked, “Did you like this new Ranked Choice Voting
method?” December 7, 2008 The News Tribute. The county could save
$600,000 if they scrapped instant runoff voting now.

DITCHED. CARY NORTH CAROLINA Cary North Carolina rejected a second go
at IRV, voted to keep current election method WRAL News Apr. 30 2009
Cary, N.C. — The Cary Town Council voted against a proposal Thursday
to change the current election method. WRAL News and Protect NC
Elections Stop IRV Blog . Also see Cary NC tries IRV, then says ‘no

DITCHED. GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY. February 21, 2009 Georgetown
University ditches Instant Runoff Voting - cites problems The Hoya and
No IRV in NC Blog

REJECTED. BRITISH COLUMBIA (2ND TIME) 61% of the voters gave a thumbs
down for STV, Single Transferrable Vote, a ranking method in British
Columbia. May 12, 2009. BC chose NOT to adopt STV for the 2nd time.

Instant runoff voting was invented in 1870 by American architect
William Robert Ware yet has not been widely adopted. IRV has also been
rejected by a few jurisdictions that used it. Perhaps the problem is
that IRV is loaded with the potential for perverse outcomes and is
difficult to count in a transparent fashion (since it it not additive
and votes are redistributed).

To learn more about Instant Runoff Voting problems see our website
Instant Runoff Voting in the US

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