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Response from Senator Frosh

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  • Tom Bryer
    Hi, all -- I got a letter from Senator Brian Frosh (D-Montgomery County), who sits on the Senate Committee on Economic and Environmental Matters. His letter
    Message 1 of 2 , Apr 16, 2001
      Hi, all --

      I got a letter from Senator Brian Frosh (D-Montgomery
      County), who sits on the Senate Committee on Economic
      and Environmental Matters. His letter was in response
      to an email I sent his office prior to the hearing on
      SB 233.

      He of course noted that SB 233 didn't get through
      committee, though he didn't note how he voted (does
      anybody have this information, as to who voted which
      way?).

      He cited as a reason for the bill's failure,
      paraphrased, "members of the committee were concerned
      that IRV would confound a situation like we saw in
      Florida".

      This concern, to my memory, was not brought up during
      the hearing, and is completely absurd. If this was
      truly the stake that killed the bill than we should
      take note and tailor future testimonies and
      discussions to derail this concern.

      Also below find a news snippet that was recently
      emailed to me from HometownAnnapolis.com

      I am much amused by Senator Harris' opposing argument.
      "We don't want to open the can of worms ..." with
      respect to our elections' legitimacy.

      -----------------

      Instant runoff elections would provide a majority

      EDITOR'S NOTE: Political Notes is a compilation of
      political news items that appears periodically.


      Imagine yourself sequestered in a voting booth,
      marking a vote for your favorite candidate. Then
      imagine picking a second choice for the same office.


      Some voting activists who want to ensure that a
      winning candidate receives a majority of votes are
      promoting an "instant runoff" method of voting for
      Marylanders.

      They've enlisted the support of Sen. Paul Pinsky,
      D-Prince George's, who testified before the Senate
      Economic and Environmental Affairs Committee this week
      that Maryland needs voting reform.

      The issue resonates strongly after the 2000
      presidential election's controversial outcome, in
      which Green Party candidate Ralph Nader played a
      "spoiler" role, he said.

      The current system is problematic because it can
      result in a winner receiving only a plurality of
      votes, Mr. Pinsky said.

      "It will put someone else in office who doesn't have a
      majority of votes," he said. "How can (the public)
      have confidence in the voting?"

      The proposed reform would allow voters to rank their
      candidate choices. If a voter's first choice is
      eliminated, the second choice is counted until there
      is a majority vote for the eventual winner.

      Thomas Bryer, executive director of Reform America,
      said the reform would empower voters and increase the
      legitimacy of the elected leader ship in voters' eyes.


      However, Sen. Andrew Harris, R-Baltimore County, said
      questioning the legitimacy of elections or elected
      officials "opens a can of worms we don't want to get
      into," he said.

      ----------------

      Cheers,

      Tom Bryer
      Reform America

      =====
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    • Cvderic@aol.com
      Tom-- Thanks for posting the remarks from Sen. Frosh about the instant runoff voting bill. Would love to hear from others who received responses. On your
      Message 2 of 2 , Apr 16, 2001
        Tom--

        Thanks for posting the remarks from Sen. Frosh about the instant runoff
        voting bill. Would love to hear from others who received responses.

        On your question below, Frosh did not support it in committee.
        Unfortunately, the only committee member who did was the sponsor, Sen.
        Pinsky. We need to do more out-of-session lobbying -- we can only do better
        next year! It's an educational process like many other bills it will take
        time...

        Eric

        He of course noted that SB 233 didn't get through
        committee, though he didn't note how he voted (does
        anybody have this information, as to who voted which
        way?).
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