[EM] Burlington Vermont repeals IRV 52% to 48%

Bob Richard lists001 at robertjrichard.com
Wed Mar 3 11:53:31 PST 2010

Kristofer Munsterhjelm wrote:
> [snip]
> What method will be used in Burlington now -- Plurality or runoff? 
> Since you said 40% earlier, I guess it's a runoff, but 40% sounds odd 
> as a runoff threshold. Shouldn't it be majority? Anything less and the 
> voters might have preferred someone else.
The argument for 40% as opposed to 50% comes from political scientists 
and is practical rather than conceptual. Essentially it is that a 
plurality winner who gets 40% is extremely unlikely to lose a runoff 
against the second-place candidate, so that the runoff isn't worth the 
additional expense (to the candidates and voters as well as the 
government). A refinement on this is the "double complement rule", 
described here:


I'm not supporting either the double complement rule or the 40% 
threshold. I'm just reporting what I know about the rationale.

Bob Richard
Executive Vice President
Californians for Electoral Reform
PO Box 235
Kentfield, CA 94914-0235

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