IRV article at MinnPost.com
- MinnPost had an article Friday about IRV, so I pasted that section below.You gotta love Andy Cilek's nonsense quotes:IRV puts blindfolds on the voters," he says. "(With IRV) voters don't know if they're helping or hurting the cause of their favorite candidate. The court has said we do right in upholding the right of the citizen to cast a vote for the candidate of his choice unimpaired by additional votes by others."I have plenty of worries about IRV, but blindfolding voters isn't one! His logic makes my head spin!Technically his arguments could apply to ANY runoff process, including our nonpartisan primaries which is a form of runoff. Voter don't know that supporting their favorite could cause him to lose! While if they had "GOD KNOWLEDGE", they could have strategically voted to help a weaker competitor beat a stronger competitor out in the top-two primary round so a real favorite can win the general round!
OH, wait, people REALLY do this crap in primaries! Primaries make these "bluff support" votes easier, because such voters can still move their vote back to their true, while IRV disallows moving votes in the final round.Why can't Andy Cilek help ME fight "nonpartisan primaries" as a greater source of corruption against honest voters?Oh, well, it's all good. Judges are pretty smart people, so I'll trust them!Sincerely,Tom Ruen
Minnesota elections are already a national leader, but could they be better?
For the most part, Minnesota has a strong elections process, and the state even leads the nation in some areas, such as same-day registration and the use of paper ballots and automatic audits.
But, is there a better way to run Minnesota's elections?
Election watchers around the state have been weighing in on a lot of election issues from a few minor tweaks, such as moving the state's primary earlier than September, to major changes, such as extending the time when citizens can cast their votes, requiring a photo ID in order to vote, and moving to a system called Instant Runoff Voting (IRV).
Here's a look at some of the high-profile issues, starting with the most controversial.
Instant Runoff Voting
Some see the recount in the Senate race between Norm Coleman and Al Franken as a prime example of why the state should move to IRV. Lots of people seem to like it. But there are others who abhor it and hope never to see a ranked ballot in the state of Minnesota or anywhere else in the United States, for that matter.
IRV is a process in which the electorate ranks candidates by preference: first choice, second choice, third choice, etc. If a candidate is clearly determined with a majority (50 percent plus one) of first-place votes, then he or she wins. If not, the instant runoff is triggered. The candidate with the fewest first-place votes is eliminated, and those votes are redistributed to citizens' second choice. If the first redistribution doesn't produce a majority winner, the process continues by eliminating the next lowest candidate and redistributing those votes until one candidate reaches a majority.
Proponents of IRV say it's a better way to run elections, especially when third-party candidates are on the ballot.
"Many people in the DFL and Republican parties wish the Green, Independence and Libertarian parties would go away," says Jack Uldrich, an Independence Party member who has run for U.S. House and Senate seats. "But we're not going away. Especially here in Minnesota. The question becomes how to create a system that allows us to flourish, and to elect people by majority. The best solution is IRV."
Its proponents argue that the current plurality system presumes just two candidates in a race, and when there are more, such as the Coleman-Franken Senate race that also included the IP's Dean Barkley, the system breaks down.
"What a debacle," says Jeanne Massey of FairVote Minnesota, the local branch of a national organization pushing IRV.
"If a significant third-party candidate gets cast aside as a 'spoiler,' the message doesn't get through," says Massey, "And voters lose out."
She says voters want and deserve choice. But in the current election system, voters don't always choose their preferred candidate "because they worry their vote is wasted or it will help elect their least favorite candidate," says Massey.
IRV would remedy the spoiler effect, she says, because every vote is counted. Massey also believes it would promote more civil elections.