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Instant runoff voting - It's time has come

Instead of having a third spoiler candidate throw elections so that no candidate has majority support, Instant Runoff Voting is gaining increasing support across the United States in local, county, and state elections. With IRV the voter rank orders his/her preferred candidates. If there are four candidates for example, the voter would rank order his/her preferences 1, 2, 3, 4. If no candidate gets a majority of the votes, then the top two candidates advance to an instant runoff, and if the voter's first choice is eliminated then the ballot is counted for whichever one of the top two candidates the voter ranked higher.

IRV eliminates the "spoiler" phenomenon and makes third party candidates viable and decreases the corporate influence on two party elections. For more information click on the link below to go to the fairvote website where IRV is discussed in more detail. Moving toward the IRV system should be a major campaign issue in the 08 campaign season especially since the voting was so corrupt in 2000 and 2004.

IRV is a better system which allows citizens to participate more meaningfully in our democracy.

Link: FairVote - Home..


Jack Boyd

Great to flag the value of instant runoff voting -- it's making more and more sense with every election we have. Another good source for info is

You also might be interested in other alternatives to traditional voting like different methods of proportional representation systems.

Clay Shentrup

Some facts:

* IRV can elect candidate X, even when Y is preferred to X by a large majority.

* IRV reduces, but does not eliminate the spoiler effect; it can result in situations where X would beat Y, but if Z joins the race, then Y wins instead. (Think of Z as "Nader".)

* IRV typically results in about 7 times as many spoiled ballots.

* IRV cannot be counted in precincts, and so must be centrally counted, which integrity experts fear could heighten its susceptibility to fraud.

* IRV incentivizes the adoption of fraud-prone (not to mention expensive) electronic voting machines.

* Range Voting and Approval Voting are simpler, and better, and actually _reduce_ spoiled ballots.

For a good at the history of spoiled elections, and various voting methods that have been proposed to fix them, check out William Poundstone's forthcoming book _Gaming the Vote_, due out in Februarry.

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