Thursday, December 11, 2008

No Majority for 2 out of 3 Instant Runoff winners in Pierce County Washington

Another Instant Runoff Voting myth busted - again. This time it is the myth that instant runoff or ranked choice voting result in majority winners.

Voting activist Chris Telesca has a fascinating analysis of the Pierce County Washington's first Ranked Choice Voting election. (Also known as RCV and or Instant Runoff.)

Chris found that 2 of the 3 winners in the Pierce Co election won without a majority of the votes. Chris has a breakdown of the votes at his blog:

Sunday, December 7, 2008

2 out of 3 Pierce County RCV "winners" don't have a true majority
Pierce County WA claims to have winners in their RCV races - but were they real majority wins?It doesn't appear so in more than one race....Out of a total of 312,771 ballots cast, there were 299,132 votes that were counted. No one got over 50% of the votes.

If you go over to his blog, Chris shows you how smoke and mirrors are used to create the facade of a majority, by pretending some votes weren't really there.

Ranked choice voting, instant runoff voting, whatever you want to call it, it is just smoke and mirrors.

Smoke and mirrors is a metaphor for a deceptive, fraudulent or insubstantial explanation or description. The source of the name is based on magicians' illusions, where magicians make objects appear or disappear by extending or retracting mirrors amid a confusing burst of smoke. The expression may have a connotation of virtuosity or cleverness in carrying out such a deception