For Policy not Poses

IRV’d Elections

In 2005, the mayor’s race in the general election had three candidates, and the winner received a plurality, not a majority. The election was written up nationwide as an example showing the advantage of “instant runoff elections.” Nothing came of the suggestion locally. The letter below was lifted directly from one of the blogs concerning this election:

Dear city leaders:

This is a good time to talk about introducing Instant Runoff Elections, or IRV, to the Annapolis city democratic process. IRV is elegantly simple and helps foolproof the election, preventing the spolier issue and preempting issues such as the sullied results of the democratic primary. In IRV the electorate ranks their candidates in order of preference. If there is a majority winner at the 1st choice the judges stop counting. If not, they go on to the 2nd choice and so on. Takoma Park has it.

Sadly the failure of the party, media and populace to properly vet the candidates resulted in inconclusive read of the electorate’s choice. To proceed without rerunning the election would further dilute the democrats standing. I hope they, with the moniker of democrats, manage to find it within themselves to uphold the democratic process for our small city. It would support the long-term democratic process and prevent future botches such as this if you and our other leaders would enact IRV for us.

Thank you,

(Name deleted)

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