Instant Runoff Voting

Have you guys heard of Instant Runoff Voting?  It’s a voting mechanism that caters to multi-party systems.  Being a 3rd party voter in the past, it definitely appeals to me.  The basic idea is for a voter to rank the candidates instead of just voting for a single candidate.  Here’s a summary from the Instant Runoff Voting site:

The IRV works basically as follows: Instead of just casting one vote for one candidate, voters rank the candidates: 1,2,3, etc. (hence, the motto, “it’s as easy as 1-2-3.”). If no candidate receives a majority of the #1 votes, the candidate with the least total of #1 votes is eliminated. The second choice votes from these ballots are then transferred to the other candidates. The ballots are recounted, and candidates are eliminated in this fashion until 1 winner emerges with a majority of the vote.

The IRV site also has a good demo of how Florida might have turned out in 2000 with IRV.  Click on the “How IRV Works Flash Presentation” box.

4 Responses to “Instant Runoff Voting”

  1. I would definitely be in favor of it…… Improvement in our election system should be a number one priority….. With everything that’s going on now, we need people in office that actually consider what’s best for our country, instead of what’s best for their “cur-rear’s” (CYA)……..

  2. I think I like the idea. Being utterly unimpressed with the recent 3rd party presidential candidates (Perot? Nader??!! Buchanan??!!), perhaps it would encourage better ones to step forward.

  3. If I understand it correctly, I would support it. But, would it cure the systemic problem of money and campaigns?

  4. I don’t know about the money side of things, but idea is that negative campaigning won’t help since candidates typically need more than just their primary supporters to win. From the IRV site:

    It will decrease negative campaigning. To win, candidates need to get some 2nd and 3rd place votes, as well as 1st place votes. They’ll be less likely to “go negative” if they need their opponent’s voters, too.

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