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Vt. City Electing Mayor Via Instant Runoff

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  • Greg Cannon
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060304/ap_on_el_st_lo/instant_runoff_election;_ylt=AmMlHDQqoGvX0SjKerBXeGas0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTA3OXIzMDMzBHNlYwM3MDM- Vt. City
    Message 1 of 6 , Mar 4 10:29 AM
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      http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060304/ap_on_el_st_lo/instant_runoff_election;_ylt=AmMlHDQqoGvX0SjKerBXeGas0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTA3OXIzMDMzBHNlYwM3MDM-

      Vt. City Electing Mayor Via Instant Runoff

      By ROSS SNEYD, Associated Press Writer 25 minutes ago

      BURLINGTON, Vt. - Runoff elections are typically
      cumbersome processes, taking weeks and sometimes
      months to determine a winner. Burlington is going to
      do it all instantly.

      In an innovation known as instant runoff voting, the
      results of Tuesday's five-candidate election for mayor
      and whatever runoffs are needed to settle it will all
      be known soon after polls close.

      For the first time in a mayoral election in the United
      States, voters will mark their ballots for their
      favorite candidate, along with their second, third,
      fourth and fifth choices.

      If none of the five gets 50 percent of the vote on the
      first round, the candidate with the lowest vote total
      would be eliminated. Then the second choice of the
      voters who made that candidate their initial pick
      would be counted, and so on.

      "As soon as somebody gets to 50 percent, it stops,"
      said Jo LaMarche, the city's election director.

      The winner will succeed incumbent Mayor Peter
      Clavelle, who announced last year he would not seek an
      eighth two-year term in the city of nearly 40,000
      people.

      Advocates promote instant runoff voting, also known as
      ranked-choice voting, as a way of boosting voter
      turnout and encouraging more people to run for public
      office by eliminating concerns that a third-party
      candidate might be a spoiler.

      "Nationally, people are catching on to how IRV can
      open up our politics," said Ryan O'Donnell,
      communications director of FairVote, the Center for
      Voting and Democracy. "It's a reform that produces
      majority winners, encourages candidates to reach out
      to more voters, and eliminates the 'spoiler' problem."

      If Florida had used instant runoff voting, the outcome
      of the 2000 presidential election likely would have
      been different, said Doug Amy, professor of politics
      at Mount Holyoke College and author of "Behind the
      Ballot Box: A Citizen's Guide to Voting Systems."
      Votes that went to Ralph Nader might ultimately have
      gone to Vice President Al Gore.

      "I think that really brought that problem to national
      attention," Amy said.

      San Francisco has elected members of its board of
      supervisors using instant runoff, but Burlington will
      be the first community in the nation to elect its
      chief executive officer with the system.

      A number of other counties, cities, and towns have
      shown interest, according to FairVote, including San
      Diego, Oakland, Davis and Berkeley in California.
      LaMarche said she has gotten calls about the system
      from cities in South Carolina and Alaska.

      "A lot of people are just waiting to see how this
      works with Burlington," LaMarche said.

      Bills are pending in at least 15 states to implement
      instant runoffs at local levels or statewide. The
      state of Washington last year gave a number of
      mid-sized cities authority to conduct instant runoff
      voting, although none has so far used it.

      Not everyone is enthusiastic about the idea. Some
      election administrators worry that fewer people will
      show up at the polls because of the system's
      complexity. There is also concern about incomplete
      counting in later runoff rounds.

      Doug Lewis, director of the Election Center, which
      represents elections administrators nationally, said
      those all are concerns he and his colleagues have
      heard about instant runoffs. But he can't say whether
      they're valid.

      "Until you work with it enough and find out it would
      be difficult to find out," he said

      LaMarche believes Burlington voters will not see much
      that's unusual Tuesday. The only difference is the
      extra places after each mayoral candidate's name on
      the optically scanned ballots for second, third,
      fourth and fifth choices.

      The Burlington city clerk's office conducted voter
      training in January to try to get voters interested
      and educated. There also have been mailings explaining
      how the system works.

      Candidates even have tried to take advantage of the
      new system. Progressive Party candidate Bob Kiss'
      signs promote him as the "first choice for mayor."
      Republican Kevin Curley has told his supporters that
      he endorses Kiss as a second choice. Democrat Hinda
      Miller has declined to endorse a second choice,
      arguing she's confident she'll win in the first round.

      ___

      On the Net:

      Burlington: http://www.ci.burlington.vt.us/

      FairVote: http://www.fairvote.org/
    • THOMAS JOHNSON
      Sounds like a great idea to me... ...
      Message 2 of 6 , Mar 4 10:58 AM
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        Sounds like a great idea to me...

        --- Greg Cannon <gregcannon1@...> wrote:

        >
        http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060304/ap_on_el_st_lo/instant_runoff_election;_ylt=AmMlHDQqoGvX0SjKerBXeGas0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTA3OXIzMDMzBHNlYwM3MDM-
        >
        > Vt. City Electing Mayor Via Instant Runoff
        >
        > By ROSS SNEYD, Associated Press Writer 25 minutes
        > ago
        >
        > BURLINGTON, Vt. - Runoff elections are typically
        > cumbersome processes, taking weeks and sometimes
        > months to determine a winner. Burlington is going to
        > do it all instantly.
        >
        > In an innovation known as instant runoff voting, the
        > results of Tuesday's five-candidate election for
        > mayor
        > and whatever runoffs are needed to settle it will
        > all
        > be known soon after polls close.
        >
        > For the first time in a mayoral election in the
        > United
        > States, voters will mark their ballots for their
        > favorite candidate, along with their second, third,
        > fourth and fifth choices.
        >
        > If none of the five gets 50 percent of the vote on
        > the
        > first round, the candidate with the lowest vote
        > total
        > would be eliminated. Then the second choice of the
        > voters who made that candidate their initial pick
        > would be counted, and so on.
        >
        > "As soon as somebody gets to 50 percent, it stops,"
        > said Jo LaMarche, the city's election director.
        >
        > The winner will succeed incumbent Mayor Peter
        > Clavelle, who announced last year he would not seek
        > an
        > eighth two-year term in the city of nearly 40,000
        > people.
        >
        > Advocates promote instant runoff voting, also known
        > as
        > ranked-choice voting, as a way of boosting voter
        > turnout and encouraging more people to run for
        > public
        > office by eliminating concerns that a third-party
        > candidate might be a spoiler.
        >
        > "Nationally, people are catching on to how IRV can
        > open up our politics," said Ryan O'Donnell,
        > communications director of FairVote, the Center for
        > Voting and Democracy. "It's a reform that produces
        > majority winners, encourages candidates to reach out
        > to more voters, and eliminates the 'spoiler'
        > problem."
        >
        > If Florida had used instant runoff voting, the
        > outcome
        > of the 2000 presidential election likely would have
        > been different, said Doug Amy, professor of politics
        > at Mount Holyoke College and author of "Behind the
        > Ballot Box: A Citizen's Guide to Voting Systems."
        > Votes that went to Ralph Nader might ultimately have
        > gone to Vice President Al Gore.
        >
        > "I think that really brought that problem to
        > national
        > attention," Amy said.
        >
        > San Francisco has elected members of its board of
        > supervisors using instant runoff, but Burlington
        > will
        > be the first community in the nation to elect its
        > chief executive officer with the system.
        >
        > A number of other counties, cities, and towns have
        > shown interest, according to FairVote, including San
        > Diego, Oakland, Davis and Berkeley in California.
        > LaMarche said she has gotten calls about the system
        > from cities in South Carolina and Alaska.
        >
        > "A lot of people are just waiting to see how this
        > works with Burlington," LaMarche said.
        >
        > Bills are pending in at least 15 states to implement
        > instant runoffs at local levels or statewide. The
        > state of Washington last year gave a number of
        > mid-sized cities authority to conduct instant runoff
        > voting, although none has so far used it.
        >
        > Not everyone is enthusiastic about the idea. Some
        > election administrators worry that fewer people will
        > show up at the polls because of the system's
        > complexity. There is also concern about incomplete
        > counting in later runoff rounds.
        >
        > Doug Lewis, director of the Election Center, which
        > represents elections administrators nationally, said
        > those all are concerns he and his colleagues have
        > heard about instant runoffs. But he can't say
        > whether
        > they're valid.
        >
        > "Until you work with it enough and find out it would
        > be difficult to find out," he said
        >
        > LaMarche believes Burlington voters will not see
        > much
        > that's unusual Tuesday. The only difference is the
        > extra places after each mayoral candidate's name on
        > the optically scanned ballots for second, third,
        > fourth and fifth choices.
        >
        > The Burlington city clerk's office conducted voter
        > training in January to try to get voters interested
        > and educated. There also have been mailings
        > explaining
        > how the system works.
        >
        > Candidates even have tried to take advantage of the
        > new system. Progressive Party candidate Bob Kiss'
        > signs promote him as the "first choice for mayor."
        > Republican Kevin Curley has told his supporters that
        > he endorses Kiss as a second choice. Democrat Hinda
        > Miller has declined to endorse a second choice,
        > arguing she's confident she'll win in the first
        > round.
        >
        > ___
        >
        > On the Net:
        >
        > Burlington: http://www.ci.burlington.vt.us/
        >
        > FairVote: http://www.fairvote.org/
        >
        >
        >
        > Yahoo! Groups Links
        >
        >
        > prezveepsenator-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
      • Ram Lau
        ... Gore should just run again in 2008. Ram
        Message 3 of 6 , Mar 4 5:11 PM
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          > > Votes that went to Ralph Nader might ultimately have
          > > gone to Vice President Al Gore.

          Gore should just run again in 2008.

          Ram
        • THOMAS JOHNSON
          Just when I thought that this administration couldn t get any more reactionary..... White House Trains Efforts on Media Leaks Sources, Reporters Could Be
          Message 4 of 6 , Mar 5 10:57 AM
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            Just when I thought that this administration couldn't
            get any more reactionary.....


            White House Trains Efforts on Media Leaks
            Sources, Reporters Could Be Prosecuted

            By Dan Eggen
            Washington Post Staff Writer
            Sunday, March 5, 2006; Page A01

            The Bush administration, seeking to limit leaks of
            classified information, has launched initiatives
            targeting journalists and their possible government
            sources. The efforts include several FBI probes, a
            polygraph investigation inside the CIA and a warning
            from the Justice Department that reporters could be
            prosecuted under espionage laws.

            In recent weeks, dozens of employees at the CIA, the
            National Security Agency and other intelligence
            agencies have been interviewed by agents from the
            FBI's Washington field office, who are investigating
            possible leaks that led to reports about secret CIA
            prisons and the NSA's warrantless domestic
            surveillance program, according to law enforcement and
            intelligence officials familiar with the two cases.


            Numerous employees at the CIA, FBI, Justice Department
            and other agencies also have received letters from
            Justice prohibiting them from discussing even
            unclassified issues related to the NSA program,
            according to sources familiar with the notices. Some
            GOP lawmakers are also considering whether to approve
            tougher penalties for leaking.

            In a little-noticed case in California, FBI agents
            from Los Angeles have already contacted reporters at
            the Sacramento Bee about stories published in July
            that were based on sealed court documents related to a
            terrorism case in Lodi, according to the newspaper.

            Some media watchers, lawyers and editors say that,
            taken together, the incidents represent perhaps the
            most extensive and overt campaign against leaks in a
            generation, and that they have worsened the
            already-tense relationship between mainstream news
            organizations and the White House.

            "There's a tone of gleeful relish in the way they talk
            about dragging reporters before grand juries, their
            appetite for withholding information, and the hints
            that reporters who look too hard into the public's
            business risk being branded traitors," said New York
            Times Executive Editor Bill Keller, in a statement
            responding to questions from The Washington Post. "I
            don't know how far action will follow rhetoric, but
            some days it sounds like the administration is
            declaring war at home on the values it professes to be
            promoting abroad."

            President Bush has called the NSA leak "a shameful
            act" that was "helping the enemy," and said in
            December that he was hopeful the Justice Department
            would conduct a full investigation into the
            disclosure.

            "We need to protect the right to free speech and the
            First Amendment, and the president is doing that,"
            said White House spokesman Trent Duffy. "But, at the
            same time, we do need to protect classified
            information which helps fight the war on terror."

            Disclosing classified information without
            authorization has long been against the law, yet such
            leaks are one of the realities of life in Washington
            -- accounting for much of the back-channel
            conversation that goes on daily among journalists,
            policy intellectuals, and current and former
            government officials.

            Presidents have also long complained about leaks:
            Richard Nixon's infamous "plumbers" were originally
            set up to plug them, and he tried, but failed, to
            prevent publication of a classified history of the
            Vietnam War called the Pentagon Papers. Ronald Reagan
            exclaimed at one point that he was "up to my keister"
            in leaks.

            Bush administration officials -- who complain that
            reports about detainee abuse, clandestine surveillance
            and other topics have endangered the nation during a
            time of war -- have arguably taken a more aggressive
            approach than other recent administrations, including
            a clear willingness to take on journalists more
            directly if necessary.

            "Almost every administration has kind of come in
            saying they want an open administration, and then
            getting bad press and fuming about leaks," said David
            Greenberg, a Rutgers University journalism professor
            and author of "Nixon's Shadow." "But it's a pretty
            fair statement to say you haven't seen this kind of
            crackdown on leaks since the Nixon administration."


            Tom






            --- Ram Lau <ramlau@...> wrote:

            > > > Votes that went to Ralph Nader might ultimately
            > have
            > > > gone to Vice President Al Gore.
            >
            > Gore should just run again in 2008.
            >
            > Ram
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > Yahoo! Groups Links
            >
            >
            > prezveepsenator-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
          • greg
            The Nader-Gore situation reminds me of something I read the order day that you all might be interested in. This is from Robert S. McElvaine s The Great
            Message 5 of 6 , Mar 5 1:06 PM
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              The Nader-Gore situation reminds me of something I read the order day
              that you all might be interested in. This is from Robert S.
              McElvaine's The Great Depression (246-247):

              In the summer of 1935, the Democratic National Committee conducted a
              secret poll on [Huey] Long as a possible third-party presidential
              candidate. The Democrats were shocked to learn that between 3 million
              and 4 million Americans might vote for Long and wealth-sharing. Even
              more disturbing to New Dealers were indications that Long had strong
              support in the midwestern Farm Belt and in the industrial regions
              along the Great Lakes (12.5 percent) and even the Pacific coast (12.1
              percent). The 1935 poll showed that Long could command a minimum
              100,000 votes in New York. It was reported separately that he might
              have obtained 250,000 votes in Ohio. Such a Long candidacy could throw
              the election to the Republicans. This was a fate Franklin Roosevelt
              did not want to see befall his countrymen. The President was already
              engaged in a secret war against Long. The White House offered
              encouragement to the senator's opponents in Louisiana, denied
              patronage to Long's supporters, secured the help of other southern
              senators in attacking Long, and even had the Justice Department and
              the FBI investigate the possibiity of sending troops into Louisiana to
              "restore republican government."

              ...

              By 1935, Long was making it plain that he was likely to support an
              independent presidential candidate the following year. His apparent
              plan was to siphon enough votes from Roosevelt to elect a Republican
              in 1936. Long believed that things would get so bad under a Republican
              administration that the people would turn to him in 1940. The Kingfish
              would be only forty-six when the new decade began, so there would be
              plenty of time.
              There was not. Before Long's last book, My First Days in the White
              House, could reach his public, an assassin's attack ended any
              possibility that fiction might become fact. As Long stood talking to
              aides in a corridor of the Louisiana Capitol in Baton Rouge on the
              night of September 8, 1935, Carl Weiss, a young physician who saw Huey
              as a tyrant and whose father-in-law had been wronged by the Long
              political machine, walked up to the senator and shot him with a
              pistol. Long's bodyguards responded by emptying their guins into Dr.
              Weiss.

              --- In prezveepsenator@yahoogroups.com, "Ram Lau" <ramlau@...> wrote:
              >
              > > > Votes that went to Ralph Nader might ultimately have
              > > > gone to Vice President Al Gore.
              >
              > Gore should just run again in 2008.
              >
              > Ram
              >
            • THOMAS JOHNSON
              Great post, Greg.. I have taken the liberty of passing this along to the American Presidents group, as we are covering FDR this week, giving you proper credit,
              Message 6 of 6 , Mar 6 12:21 AM
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                Great post, Greg.. I have taken the liberty of passing
                this along to the American Presidents group, as we are
                covering FDR this week, giving you proper credit, of
                course.

                Tom



                --- greg <gregcannon1@...> wrote:

                > The Nader-Gore situation reminds me of something I
                > read the order day
                > that you all might be interested in. This is from
                > Robert S.
                > McElvaine's The Great Depression (246-247):
                >
                > In the summer of 1935, the Democratic National
                > Committee conducted a
                > secret poll on [Huey] Long as a possible third-party
                > presidential
                > candidate. The Democrats were shocked to learn that
                > between 3 million
                > and 4 million Americans might vote for Long and
                > wealth-sharing. Even
                > more disturbing to New Dealers were indications that
                > Long had strong
                > support in the midwestern Farm Belt and in the
                > industrial regions
                > along the Great Lakes (12.5 percent) and even the
                > Pacific coast (12.1
                > percent). The 1935 poll showed that Long could
                > command a minimum
                > 100,000 votes in New York. It was reported
                > separately that he might
                > have obtained 250,000 votes in Ohio. Such a Long
                > candidacy could throw
                > the election to the Republicans. This was a fate
                > Franklin Roosevelt
                > did not want to see befall his countrymen. The
                > President was already
                > engaged in a secret war against Long. The White
                > House offered
                > encouragement to the senator's opponents in
                > Louisiana, denied
                > patronage to Long's supporters, secured the help of
                > other southern
                > senators in attacking Long, and even had the Justice
                > Department and
                > the FBI investigate the possibiity of sending troops
                > into Louisiana to
                > "restore republican government."
                >
                > ...
                >
                > By 1935, Long was making it plain that he was likely
                > to support an
                > independent presidential candidate the following
                > year. His apparent
                > plan was to siphon enough votes from Roosevelt to
                > elect a Republican
                > in 1936. Long believed that things would get so bad
                > under a Republican
                > administration that the people would turn to him in
                > 1940. The Kingfish
                > would be only forty-six when the new decade began,
                > so there would be
                > plenty of time.
                > There was not. Before Long's last book, My First
                > Days in the White
                > House, could reach his public, an assassin's attack
                > ended any
                > possibility that fiction might become fact. As Long
                > stood talking to
                > aides in a corridor of the Louisiana Capitol in
                > Baton Rouge on the
                > night of September 8, 1935, Carl Weiss, a young
                > physician who saw Huey
                > as a tyrant and whose father-in-law had been wronged
                > by the Long
                > political machine, walked up to the senator and shot
                > him with a
                > pistol. Long's bodyguards responded by emptying
                > their guins into Dr.
                > Weiss.
                >
                > --- In prezveepsenator@yahoogroups.com, "Ram Lau"
                > <ramlau@...> wrote:
                > >
                > > > > Votes that went to Ralph Nader might
                > ultimately have
                > > > > gone to Vice President Al Gore.
                > >
                > > Gore should just run again in 2008.
                > >
                > > Ram
                > >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                > Yahoo! Groups Links
                >
                >
                > prezveepsenator-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
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