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November 7th, 2001

Instant Runoff Voting

Yes, Election Day was yesterday, but one issue I think that needs to be touched on soon is Instant Runoff Voting.

The idea behind this voting scheme is to allow voters to have more of a choice and to encourage participation while also assuring that minor party candidates won’t be viewed as “spoilers.” It’s best described by the web site itself:

Instant runoff voting is a winner-take-all system that ensures that a winning candidate will receive a majority of votes rather than a simple plurality. In plurality voting — as used in most U.S. elections — candidates can win with less than a majority when there are more than two candidates running for the office. In contrast, IRV elects a majority candidate while still allowing voters to support a candidate who is not a front-runner.

Take a look at the page above as well as the Flash animation illustrating how IRV works and let us know what you think.

To me, it sounds like a no-brainer. I’m anxious to see how the experiments with the IRV in the United States work out. -ram

Posted in Politics

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