[EM] Approval-Runoff

Jameson Quinn jameson.quinn at gmail.com
Thu Mar 15 00:36:27 PDT 2012

2012/3/15 Andy Jennings <elections at jenningsstory.com>

> This was a very good idea, it sounds like. So how did it get shoved aside?
>> It would be quite useful to know.
> It didn't even get a hearing in the rules committee of the Arizona house
> of representatives.  I think the chairman of the rules committee may have
> been against it.  I heard that a prominent AZ Republican strategist opposes
> approval voting because it would be "bad for conservatives".

Please give names (both chairman and strategist). You did a great job
getting this as far as you did, but it's worth sharing this kind of info as
soon as you find it out. Perhaps other people here could have helped you
find grassroots alliances to pressure the people involved. Because of
course, while approval voting may be bad for those who want to thwart
democracy, as you point out it is good for conservatives in a conservative

> I think it may be bad for the most extreme candidates, but in a place like
> Arizona, I think it would be a slight positive for conservatives in
> general.  (Since Arizona leans conservative, I think conservatives are the
> most likely to be hurt by vote splitting and spoiler effects.)
>> Does the law require a primary and runoff regardless of what happens in
>> the primary? This seems a bit strange combined with the rest of what you
>> wrote. If a majority found in the primary is adequate to declare a winner,
>> no runoff, then there would be cost savings, if the required extra votes
>> came from extra approvals.
> The Arizona Constitution says, "The Legislature shall enact a direct
> primary election law, which shall provide for the nomination of candidates
> for all elective State, county, and city offices, including candidates for
> United States Senator and for Representative in Congress..."
> I believe this (in conjunction with existing statutes) is interpreted to
> mean top-two runoff in nonpartisan situations, but if someone gets 50% in
> the first round they can indeed omit the runoff.  I'm not sure how often
> that runoff round has no other races and could actually save the entire
> expense of an election.

I wonder also if even partisan elections could be skipped if there were a
>50% majority in the first round. As I said earlier, even if you couldn't
skip them, you could have the leader running against nobody but write-ins,
and thus save the expense of sending out voter pamphlets.


ps Again, great work overall; my comments and requests are in no way meant
as criticism.
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