Friday, November 18, 2005

Runoff voting

The Times of Trenton yesterday posted a letter about runoff voting from Steve Welzer, which discussed the Green Party's impact on recent elections. He mentions that the Green Party candidates each received more than 2,000 votes; if those votes had gone to the Democrat Robert Morgan, the outcome of the election would have been different. This is a great argument for Instant Runoff Voting where voters can rank their choices. To quote Mr. Welzer's letter:
Under IRV, ballots get re-allocated to alternative choices in such a way that, at the end of the vote count, all votes go to the top two candidates. A voter can rank a minor party candidate No. 1, and a major party candidate No. 2, knowing that his or her ballot will never "spoil" for the major-party candidate.
Our electoral system could be opened up to accommodate "more voices and more choices," as Ralph Nader said, and everyone could benefit, even the major parties, if reforms like instant runoff voting were adopted.

Since the 2000 presidential election that was spoiled by the Florida votes that went to Ralph Nader (Oh- and by a stopped recount, and a flawed electoral college system which is not relevant anymore, and other things, but let's maintain focus here) there has been discussion of runoff voting. Bill AJR99 in the Assembly was proposed by Bill Baroni to create a commission to investigate IRV, but it stuck in committee in 3/04. The time has long since come to at least explore IRV for Our Fair State, and I plan to write to my Assemblyfolk to urge them to study then enact this reform.

I just wish my Assemblymen were still Panter and Morgan, instead of Panter and Beck. They probably would be, too, if we had IRV.

(cross-posted at

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