The activist city that didn't vote
Will there ever be enough candidates in a Takoma Park election triggerInstant Run-off Voting? by Tamra Tomlinson 12/07/2007
...The November 6 municipal elections generated the lowest voter turnout in 12 years. Only 931 ballots were cast for an uncontested race for the office of mayor, won by former Ward Three Council member Bruce Williams, with 101 of those going to an array of 55 write-in candidates. Among these were Ho Chi Minh, Comedy Central show host Stephen Colbert and "Mickey Mouse." Former Mayor Kathy Porter received two write-in votes, as did "Anybody Else."
In Ward Three - the ward with the highest turnout, and the only one in which more than one candidate was on the ballot - 357 votes were cast,giving Dan Robinson a 235-to-112 edge over Bridget Bowers. At the low end, only 47 ballots were cast for the Ward Six council seat.
Is there a pattern here?When San Francisco switched from regular elections in 2003 to IRV elections, turnout dropped by 100,000 voters. Compare the 2007 mayoral contest (with IRV) to the 2003 mayoral contest (without IRV):
GAVIN NEWSOM . . . . . . . . . 105,596 73.66
QUINTIN MECKE . . . . . . . . . . 9,076 6.33
GAVIN NEWSOM. . . . . . . . . . 133,546 52.81
MATT GONZALEZ . . . . . . . . . 119,329 47.19
Well, at least there are fewer votes to count!