Saturday, October 31, 2009

Instant Runoff Voting endorsed by WHO? Misleading mailers in St Paul

From No Bad Ballots latest on the campaign for instant runoff voting in St Paul, Minnesota:
BREAKING NEWS Complaint: Better Ballot campaign lies about support from the League of Woman Voters. Advocates for instant run-off voting have wrongly claimed to have the support of the Saint Paul or Minnesota chapters of the League of Woman Voters, according to a complaint filed today with the State of Minnesota Office of Administrative Hearings board against the Better Ballot Campaign and Fair Vote Minnesota.Click here to read the news release.Click here to read the full complaint.

St Paul Locals are unhappy about being lied to - whether they like IRV or not:
"Even so, the public shouldn't be okay with what appears to be a significant and obvious misrepresentation." ~ a comment posted in the St Paul e-democracy forum.

St Paul Minnesota voters will vote this November 3rd on whether to adopt instant runoff voting.
The group Better Ballot Campaign has been claiming all sorts of endorsements for IRV on its mailers to voters. The problem, these mailers may violate the law because BBC didn't get written permission for at least groups portrayed as endorsing IRV. St Paul League of Women Voters has asked Better Ballots to correct their misleading mailer that wrongly claims LWV endorsement for the IRV issue that is on the Nov 3 ballot.

League of Women Voters to pro-IRV: Take our name off your lit
By City Hall Scoop on October 29, 2009

The co-presidents of the St. Paul League of Women Voters are asking instant-runoff voting supporters to "correct" an "error in their literature."

That lit would be mailers the Better Ballot Campaign has sent out that list the League under "endorsed by..." implying the League urges a vote of "yes" on Tuesday's ballot question of whether St. Paul should take up the alternate voting method.

"The League of Women Voters of St. Paul has no position on this issue," write Co-Presidents Sigrid Johnson and Phyllis Hollihan in a letter Johnson said she e-mailed to the PiPress editorial page.
So DFL activist Chuck Repke of No Bad Ballots filed an complaint about this:

No Bad Ballots Committee files campaign grievance
Paul Demko 10/30/09 ...Specifically at issue is a postcard mailed out by the St. Paul Better Ballot Campaign urging support for the change in voting systems. Among the individuals and organizations listed as backing the measure is the League of Women Voters of Minnesota and St. Paul.
Better Ballots tries to defend what they've done:

Fans, foes spar over instant-runoff voting decision in St. Paul
Pioneer Press Updated: 10/30/2009
The pro-IRV Better Ballot Campaign has mailed out literature claiming the "League of Women Voters of St. Paul and Minnesota" endorses their side.

On Thursday, the St. Paul league's co-presidents, Sigrid Johnson and Phyllis Hollihan, sent a public letter saying the St. Paul League has taken "no position" and asking the Better Ballot Campaign to correct its literature.

On Friday morning, the anti-IRV No Bad Ballots group filed a formal complaint with the state Office of Administrative Hearings, accusing the Better Ballot Campaign of knowingly making false statements.
Better Ballots can't claim an endorsement unless they have written permission to do so, according to Minnesota state law:

A person or candidate may not knowingly make, directly or indirectly, a false claim stating or implying that a candidate or ballot question has the support or endorsement of a major political party or party unit or of an organization. A person or candidate may not state in written campaign material that the candidate or ballot question has the support or endorsement of an individual
without first getting written permission from the individual to do so.

If you look at the comments in the St Paul E-Democracy Forum you can see that no one likes to be tricked or misled in order to sell them something.

..."They have been asked to remove these erroneous, misleading, false claims
of support of Major Political Parties (in violation of Section 211B.02 of theMinnesota Statutes - State Campaign Laws) BUT THEY HAVE NOT. They CANNOT allege that a misunderstanding has culminated in this false claimof support of the St. Paul DFL.

They KNOW they lost at the 2009 CityConvention. They KNOW the DFL sample ballot does not endorse Vote Yes on the ballot question. When is this going to end? Maybe there needs to be another complaint and inquiry into the violation of State Campaign laws by BBC and itsemployees. Violations of many of our State Campaign Laws can be prosecuted ascrimes - this isn't merely a slap on the wrist. In addition, violations cancause a candidate/ballot question to be removed from a race or to Lose - evenif they have the votes to win. THIS IS SERIOUS STUFF !!!"

"Instant Run off Voting is a confusing, complicated voting system that if passed would do nothing to improve elections in Saint Paul. Free and fair elections are the hallmark of any democracy and voters need to know that their votes count and that voting for their candidate to win can only help that candidate, not hurt them. VOTE NO ON TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 3rd" ~ No Bad Ballots group.
IF somehow the issue of adopting Instant Runoff Voting passes, it is ripe for court challenge.

Sign up to receive updates by email here:

Friday, October 30, 2009

Instant Runoff Voting - Is it Democratic?

Instant Runoff Voting - Is it Democratic? Information from an in-depth study performed on the Burlington, VT Mayoral Election by the University of Vermont's Legislative Research Shop. It answers the question which all voting systems should address - do the results reflect the will of the people?

Sign up to receive updates by email here:

Instant runoff voting video shows insane results - like in real life

See how instant runoff voting math works in real life. Voting Matters blogs it most succintly, and has a short youtube video at the link.
You want insane election results? Just try IRV! Voting Matters Blog.
One of the many dubious claims about Instant Runoff Voting (IRV) is that it will produce a consensus winner. Not always true, as has been found in studies of both Aspen, CO and Burlington, VT. The candidate with the most first and second place support does not always win. This is because it is possible to hurt your preferred candidate by turning out too many supporters in his behalf. How is this possible? Just take a look at this explanatory video to see how this could happen (and has indeed happened in real elections in various places across the U.S.) at the link
Sign up to receive updates by email here:

Oakland Mayor questions instant runoff voting in Alameda County - rightly so

Mayor Perata of Oakland, California is raising concerns about whether the county is ready to implement ranked choice voting aka instant runoff voting in next years elections. His opponent, City Councilwoman Jean Quan slings mud at him claiming Perata is afraid RCV would help her to win. But Perata is wrong wrong wrong, if San Francisco's track record with IRV/RCV is right. IRV/RCV is complex, costly, confusing and in non partisan elections acts as incumbent protection. Many jurisdictions that have actually implemented instant runoff voting have ditched it or are moving to ditch it.

Perata questions ranked choice voting in Alameda County
By Chris Metinko Oakland Tribune 10/29/2009
Three years after Oakland voters approved instant runoff voting for city elections, one Oakland mayoral candidate is questioning whether or not the city, county and voters are ready for it.

In a letter to Alameda County Administrator Susan Muranishi, former state Senate leader Don Perata brings up a variety of questions and concerns about the possibility of using instant runoff voting in next year's city elections.

Oakland voters approved instant runoff voting under Measure O in 2006. ...
The measure called for such ranked choice voting to start in 2010. However, in Perata's letter he questions if there is enough time to educate voters on the new system, if the new system is safe and secure and the cost of using such an "experimental voting system."

"This is our most sacred right," Perata's campaign manager, Larry Tramutola, said. "We need to make sure it's done right and not something that's just rushed.

"Too many times in Oakland, things just get thrown out and then someone has to go clean it up," Tramutola added, pointing to the recent controversy over city parking meter hours.

If Mayor Perata were truly self serving, he would WANT instant runoff voting, aka ranked choice voting. All you need to do is look at San Francisco, the one California jurisdiction that has administered several IRV/RCV elections. It has served as incumbent protection there.

Just In Case You Were Wondering....Some Ideas on How To Vote on 11/3
... So there's an election going on next Tuesday, but I think this off-year must have set a record for Most Boring Election Ever.

...Remember how we were told that voting for so-called "instant runoff voting" was going to usher in this big future where under-funded candidates could be freer to challenge The System and all that?
The problem this year is that we have two incumbents, each running unopposed this year. This is nothing new - three years ago I wrote about this very same phenomenon and offered up then what I'm offering now - Fun With IRV Ballots.... Fill out your ballot with your own favorite characters. If all of this seems silly, well it is. So is the fact that all the promises made about IRV never came true. We're left with paying for an expensive system that hasn't lived up to its promises.

If someone is a lame nobody running for office, they still lose. Just because we played games to fit the needs of a handful of ideologues whose true agenda has yet to be revealed, doesn't mean anything is different.Incumbents are always re-elected,
and the candidates who have the most support always win. It's even easier when no one bothers to run against them!

Perhaps IRV should more aptly be renamed Incumbent Return Voting.

Sign up to receive updates by email here:

Thursday, October 29, 2009

San Francisco Instant runoff voting 2009 Most Boring Election Ever - incumbents always re-elected

Greg Dewar, a writer and consultant for Greens and Dems says this year's muni election is "Most Boring Election Ever."

Just In Case You Were Wondering....Some Ideas on How To Vote on 11/3

... So there's an election going on next Tuesday, but I think this off-year must have set a record for Most Boring Election Ever.
Fun with the Waste of Time That Is IRV This Year

Remember how we were told that voting for so-called "instant runoff voting" was going to usher in this big future where under-funded candidates could be freer to challenge The System and all that?

Yeah, I know. Worked out well so far, right (insert sarcasm tag here).

The problem this year is that we have two incumbents, each running unopposed this year. This is nothing new - three years ago I wrote about this very same phenomenon and offered up then what I'm offering now - Fun With IRV Ballots.

I mean, the city went to all the trouble to print "IRV style" ballots, the least we can do is use them. So, while we all like ya, Mr. Herrera and Mr. Cisneros, and you did get my vote, I decided to enter in a few names for 1st and 2nd who will most assuredly lose. This year I used the names of favorite TV characters:

For City Attorney:

1. Don Draper
2. Bert Cooper
3. Dennis Herrera (Winner!)

For Treasurer

1. Hank Moody
2. Greg House
3. Jose Cisneros (Winner!)

Fill out your ballot with your own favorite characters. If all of this seems silly, well it is. So is the fact that all the promises made about IRV never came true. We're left with paying for an expensive system that hasn't lived up to its promises. If someone is a lame nobody running for office, they still lose. Just because we played games to fit the needs of a handful of ideologues whose true agenda has yet to be revealed, doesn't mean anything is different.

Incumbents are always re-elected, and the candidates who have the most support always win. It's even easier when no one bothers to run against them! So have fun. Besides, Don Draper is cool.

Sign up to receive updates by email here:


Roberts Rules DOES NOT recommend Instant Runoff Voting. Period. What they recommend is not IRV as implemented everywhere, nor as proposed by FairVote. There is a crucial difference, and that difference is relevant.

What Robert's rules "describes" (not "recommends") is not what is described as Instant Runoff Voting. It is similar, but different, in an important way that points out how the claim that IRV always elects a majority winner is a tautology. It*creates* a "majority winner" in some cases by discarding ballots, by excluding them from the majority.

From the list of election-methods FairVote on Robert's Rules of Order and IRV
Abd ul-Rahman LomaxSat, 20 Dec 2008

Robert's Rules are pretty clear: avoid making decisions, including elections, without a majority vote, and they don't fall into the trap of thinking that one gets a majority by excluding ballots without a vote for the top two.
But what they describe as "preferential voting," while the rules are single transferable vote, do *not* elect by plurality, they merely make it easier to find a majority, and they suggest that voters be made aware that if they do not rank enough candidates, the election might fail to find a majority "and must be repeated."

FairVote has radically misrepresented this section of RRONR, and that misrepresentation has been taken up and repeated by election officials in places which have implemented IRV or RCV. The method described in RRONR is indeed "better than election by plurality," but what is being implemented is, in some of the applications, no better than plurality: it *is* plurality, almost always. That's with nonpartisan elections. There are subtle but crucial differences between what RRONR describes and what is being implemented: the most important is that election by plurality is allowed, and the dirty little secret is that IRV usually, with nonpartisan elections, where full ranking is not obligatory, does not find a majority if one did not exist in the first round; further, it only rarely -- no examples so far in the U.S. with nonpartisan elections! -- finds any winner other than the first round leader.

In other words, with all the jurisdictions that have implemented IRV, with nonpartisan elections, no results have been shifted from what Plurality would have obtained. But results almost certainly *have* shifted: most of these jurisdictions were ones that required a runoff election if a majority wasn't found, and runoff elections, depending on rules, do find a real majority, at least in some senses, and even when the method is open to write-in votes, majorities are normal.

IRV is replacing top-two runoff, not Plurality, usually, so the comparison with Plurality is a false one. And top-two runoff, while certainly not perfect, is different from IRV in a number of important ways. Regardless of theory, it seems that about one out of three TTR elections results in a "comeback" where the first round leader loses to the runner-up. Since IRV is not presenting us with these, in nonpartisan elections, we can be fairly sure that IRV is changing results from TTR (better) to Plurality (worse).

FairVote, in describing or giving examples of how IRV works, focuses on *partisan* elections, where vote transfers follow some relatively predictable pattern. Not as strong a pattern as they or voting systems theorists often predict, but still strong enough to shift results. So the Green candidate is eliminated and *some* of the votes go to the Democrat. Not all. Usually, it turns out, there are enough exhausted ballots that a majority still is not found. IRV is a form of election by plurality, merely a slightly more sophisticated one that can *sometimes* fix the spoiler effect.

And who benefits from that? Mostly the major parties, which is why IRV, where it is significantly used, is associated with strong two-party systems. What voting system is associated with multiparty systems? ...

Sign up to receive updates by email here:

Vote NO St Paul- Instant Runoff Voting is "More complicated, confusing and expensive"

"IRV is a damaging and expensive solution in search of a problem. Vote 'no' on Nov. 3." An Op Ed by two local DFL activists and two St Paul Minnesota City Council members urges St Paul voters to vote "no" on instant runoff voting, this November 3. The group asks St. Paul voters to learn from the experiences of others who have tried IRV and found it flawed. Statistics show that instant runoff voting tends to disenfranchise vulnerable segments of the population and that the IRV's formula prevents some voters from participating in the final "runoff".

More complicated, confusing and expensive
By Chuck Repke, Angie Kline, Kathy Lantry and Dave Thune
Pioneer Press 10/28/2009

St. Paul voters should vote 'NO' on IRV if they care about having transparent, timely, and cost-effective city elections.

IRV doesn't deliver on what it promises — and will result in confused voters, lengthy waits for election results, and added expense for St. Paul taxpayers. IRV may seem like a new idea, but it has been tried in other places, and we can learn from their experiences.

Problems from complicating the ballot have been documented in IRV elections. In Cary, N.C., 22 percent of the voters polled admitted to not understanding IRV. In Pierce County, Washington, 63 percent of 91,000 voters indicated that they did not like using IRV. Several studies by San Francisco State University on San Francisco's Ranked Choice Voting indicate that older voters, those with English as a second language, and those with less income and education were less likely to understand IRV.

Statistically, the voters who don't fill in second choices are disproportionately senior, low income and from communities of color. IRV advocates say it is a voter's "choice" to not make a second selection when using IRV. We take issue with the complexity of a voting process when the voters "choosing" not to take full advantage and less likely to understand the system are voters who come disproportionately from these communities.

If the perceived benefit of IRV is to have a winner with the majority of votes, our current election system already does that. In IRV, votes are counted in rounds. The candidate with the smallest number of votes each round is dropped and his/her voters' second choices are redistributed to other candidates. In practice, about 15 percent of voters make no second choice, so there are fewer ballots counted each round. In 10 of 11 IRV contests in San Francisco, the winner did not receive the votes of a majority of those who voted that day, only a majority of the votes still being counted.

IRV will cost St. Paul taxpayers more. Because, by the terms of what we're voting on next week, IRV can be used only in municipal elections for mayor and city council, it will still be necessary to conduct school board primaries during the same year that we have mayor or city council races. Voter turnout for school board primaries will be abysmal. The city will need to prepare two different ballots in November for two separate elections.

St. Paul will also lose the economies of scale that are possible by using the same equipment and voting method used throughout Ramsey County. To date, there is no certified voting equipment to handle the tabulations required in IRV. This means for any election where there is not a winner with 51 percent of the vote on a first run-through, hand counting will be required — at an approximate cost of $10,000 per day in a typical mayoral election. Minneapolis predicts it will take extra staff, hand-counting ballots, six days a week, to be able to announce their results by Dec. 22nd.

IRV makes it impossible to have an informed electorate without candidates spending big money to convey their messages. This year's mayoral races are excellent examples. In St. Paul, because we had a primary, there are just two mayoral candidates with access to free media, and both have been highlighted in articles and editorials. In Minneapolis, where they are using IRV, there have been no mayoral debates and little access to the press for the 10 new candidates. With limited press coverage and no excitement, this year may set a record for low turnout in Minneapolis. San Francisco voters had a similar experience in their last IRV mayoral election when voter turnout dropped by 9 percent from their standard mayoral election in 2003. Takoma Park, Maryland, has seen its voter turnout using IRV drop to the lowest level in 12 years.

For these reasons, three of four cities that began using IRV in the last two years are considering repeal. Cary has dropped IRV, and Aspen, Colo., and Tacoma, Wash., have repeals on the ballot. Tacoma's repeal language reads "...the cost of running the IRV portion of the 2008 General Election was $1,692,663; and...the IRV portion ... proved to be expensive, complicated and confusing and the results ... were not available for weeks following the election..." That's a strong rebuke from the same elected officials who agreed to spend $1.6 million to implement IRV the previous year.

St. Paul voters should learn from others' mistakes and not switch to an expensive,
complicated and confusing election system. Free, fair elections are the hallmark of democracy and every voter deserves to be treated equally. Using IRV is far too likely to confuse and inhibit voting. IRV's voting system will leave too many voters without a vote in the final "round" of voting. Taxpayers will pay more to wait weeks for results. It seems to us like IRV is a damaging and expensive solution in search of a problem. Vote "no" on Nov. 3.

Angie Kline and Chuck Repke are local DFL activists and co-chairs of the No Bad Ballot committee, which opposes IRV. Kathy Lantry and Dave Thune are members of the St. Paul City Council. Lantry is council president.

Sign up to receive updates by email here:

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Open Letter to British on Instant Runoff Voting Virus - Why some US locales want to ditch it

Rob Richie has another blog up on Huffington Post pushing instant runoff voting, this time for Great Britain. Richie's blog is one of the few that blocks Huffington Post readers from posting comments. So we'll post our comments here and hopefully the Brits will see it.

British prime minister pledges national referendum on instant runoff voting - Poll shows support Rob Richie, Huffington Post

Instant runoff voting (IRV) is gaining support in the United States, particular as a means to replace runoff elections that double the costs of administering elections and running for office and that typically result in large disparities in turnout between rounds and sharply negative campaigns in the final runoff.

What Rob Richie doesn't tell Huffington Post readers is that IRV is losing support in the US as people wake up to the problems associated with it. Instant runoff voting is very controversial for good reason. Richie does not mention that communities that have actually used instant runoff voting have learned that it is not "as easy as 1-2-3" and has hidden expenses. Of the few places in the US that have recently tried IRV, actually used it in elections, not just adopted it - many have ditched it or are trying to ditch it. Also, in communities where both pros and cons of IRV were heard, the answer was NO to IRV, like in British Columbia.

Places that Have Ditched Instant Runoff Voting or are Moving to Ditch It
Aspen Colorado and Pierce County Washington both will have voters decide this November if they want to keep IRV. Aspen is seeing continued investigations and continued research on the election after the wrong software program was run the first time the ballots were counted. Pierce County is reconsidering after the majority of voters polled said they didn't like IRV, and the auditor said ditching IRV would save $600K. Cary, North Carolina tried IRV in 2007, and after several public hearings this year Cary ditched it and stuck with their original election method.

Learn more about problems with Instant Runoff Voting in the news here
Also read The Truth About Instant Runoff Voting - It Does Not Work As Advertised and Here is Proof

Sign up to receive updates by email here:

Saturday, October 10, 2009

NO challengers in San Francisco 2009 Instant runoff election

San Francisco is having an instant runoff voting election in November 2009, but hardly anyone is running. Both citywide offices have ONE candidate EACH. But San Francisco has to run the numbers and go through the expense of IRV anyway. Voters will see an IRV ballot for both uncontested races.

Candidates for city office on the Nov. 3 ballot, a local election:
City attorney — Incumbent Dennis Herrera running unopposed
Treasurer — Incumbent Jose Cisneros running unopposed
the voter guide with sample ballot

In the November 2007 election, there was only one candidate for District Attorney, and just 2 candidates for Sheriff's office.The ballot still had to be set up for ranked three choices for each contest. San Francisco
Voter Guide Nov 2007

IRV was supposed to encourage more candidates to run and increase debate. Well, there's no one running, and there's no debate.

Sign up to receive updates by email here:

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Instant Runoff Voting Video - Why Aspen's May election makes a great federal case

What happens to your vote in an instant runoff voting election? Does IRV help your favorite candidate win?

Can you hurt your preferred candidate by voting for him or her? With instant runoff voting, you can. This is the only election method in the US that has this defect.

A Minnesota Supreme Court said this about IRV:
"Instant runoff voting could lead to a situation where a voters vote for a particular candidate harms rather than helps that candidate."
Because this was considered theoretical, the court did not block IRV in Minnesota. Later this year, in Aspen Colorado's first IRV election, some voters DID hurt their preferred candidate by ranking him first. That is why a federal lawsuit against IRV will be filed there.

Sign up to receive updates by email here:

Monday, October 5, 2009

Is New York a prime guinea pig for Instant Runoff Voting now?

If New York does adopt optical scan voting machines. the state is a prime guinea pig for Instant Runoff Voting experiment. At least that is what Rob Richie, FairVote director hopes.

In the New York Times article, Senate Bill Would Eliminate Primary Runoff , Sewell Chan
quotes Rob Richie:

Now that New York is likely to move to new optical scan voting equipment, instant runoff voting is a sensible alternative. It’s been working well in elections in cities with diverse electorates like San Francisco and London and adopted for upcoming mayoral elections in Oakland, Minneapolis, Memphis and a growing number of other cities...

So its not enough that New York's elections will shift from lever voting machines to IRV's smoke and mirrors gaming of the election? to a more complex software run election process, Rob Richie would have you make the process even more complex and opaque!

What is Instant Runoff? Instant-runoff voting (IRV) is a voting system intended for single-winner elections in which voters can rank candidates in order of preference. IRV isn't instant to count - it can take days to figure out who won the election.

IRV is Toxic to election transparency: IRV is not "additive", so it increases reliance on more complex and bleeding edge technology and requires the central counting of votes. Central counting means hauling ballots away from the polling place to be counted elsewhere at a later time. This is toxic to the integrity of elections.

Voting voo-doo: IRV's complexity requires that voters rely upon experts to interpret the election results. VotingMattersBlog describes the instant runoff vote tallying process:

The counting of IRV is complex — the elimination of some candidates at the end
of the first round means that second choice votes are transferred to other candidates. If a third round is required the elimination and transfer process continues. The average voter has to place great trust in the reliability of the counting algorithm in a way far beyond what is necessary in plurality voting. So the counting is opaque and non-transparent — a kind of voting voodoo with election officials in the role of witch doctor producing the magical results. If one believes strongly that the average voter should be able to understand and observe the counting of votes in a democracy, then IRV fails to meet this standard.

Regardless of how you feel about Instant Runoff Voting, the process is opaque to the voter. The cost savings that IRV advocates tout are minimal at best and do not compensate for the erosion of election transparency.

While we do hold our election officials in high esteem, the confidence in our elections can have no other basis than the transparency and integrity of the process.
If the objective of an election process is to discern the will of the voters, then that process must be the simplest, most enfranchising method for all voters.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Hendersonville Instant Runoff Voting - presentations at retirement home, city bill-pay dept, LWV & Apple Fest

The City of Hendersonville, North Carolina will be conducting its November 3 municipal election through instant runoff voting, or what they call instant runoff voting.
I wrote the Henderson County Board of Elections Director to find out what the ballots would look like, how they would be counted, and how would the voters be educated about the program and how much would that cost.

The Henderson County BoE Hendersonville has 4 educational/public presentations scheduled,
4 of them: 2 events at the City Hall bill paying department, 1 at a League of Women Voters Forum, and 1 at Carolina Village, a continuing care retirement community. Voter education is described as demonstrating the voting machines. "We also demonstrated the machines at the recent Apple Festival on Main Street in downtown Hendersonville." ~ Henderson BoE.
Hendersonville used these venues to educate voters in 2006. Perhaps that is why some voters were surprised when they came to the polls.

Hendersonville voters will once again have the disconcerting experience of casting an IRV ballot on touch-screen voting machines. With touchscreens, the voters will see a field of choices, make their selection, and then go to the next page. On the next page they will see the same candidates names - again. Voters may experience confusion wondering if they made a mistake in paging through the ballot.

Instant runoff voting advocates including FairVote make alot of promises about the purported benefits of IRV. But when we have important questions the answers are partial, unsatisfying and disappointing.

Right now, we don't know how Hendersonville's IRV votes would be tallied, perhaps the hope is that like in 2007, they WONT be tallied. We do not know what this year's IRV touch-screen ballot will look like - yet. We do not know what the voter education materials will look like. We do not know what the IRV training materials will look like yet. Below are my questions to the Henderson BoE and their reply in blue. You won't learn of the real costs of IRV in this tiny little election where the IRV votes likely will never be counted.

1. Will Hendersonville's IRV election be held on touchscreens or opticalscanners? Yes, the touchscreens will be used for one stop voting andelection day voting at the precincts.

2. If on touchscreen, please forward to me a copy of what that ballot will look like to the voters, screen by screen. I will forward when Ihave received the final, tested coding from the state.

3. The dollar amounts you have allocated for IRV voter education and to
how that is allocated. We have set no dollar amounts for education.We are trying to do education during out regular office hours and any education event held after regular work hours are being handled with comp time with no cost to the county or City of Hendersonville. I have attached a copy of a flyer with public demonstrations that we have scheduled. We also demonstrated the machines at the recent Apple
Festival on Main Street in downtown Hendersonville.

4. The dollar amounts budgeted for IRV poll worker training. We always train the City of Hendersonville pollworkers separate from the other municipalities so there will be no additional costs for training.

5. The IRV voter education program and your IRV poll worker training program materials. We are still working to complete IRV trainingmaterials.

6. What media you are using to educate minority groups about IRV and dollars allocated and or spent. We are educating all votersthrough the Hendersonville Times
News, WLOS and our website.

7. The method, algorithm and spreadsheet that will be used to report andtally the IRV results. I do not have that information from the state at this time.

Beverly W. Cunningham, Director
Henderson County Board of Elections
828 697 4970


Here are the scheduled events.

Hendersonville Pilots Instant Runoff Voting

Demonstrations will be

Date Time Location

Oct. 7, 2009 9 AM to 12 PM City Hall Bill Payment Lobby

Oct. 7, 2009 6:30 PM LWV Candidate Forum, City Operations Bldg.

Oct. 9, 2009 11 AM to 2 PM City Hall Bill Payment

Oct. 14, 2009 10:30 AM Carolina Village

On-going 8:30 AM to 5 PM Henderson County Board of Elections Office
For more information, contact:

Henderson County Board of Elections
75 East Central St.
Hendersonville, NC 28792
(828) 697-4970

Sign up to receive updates by email here: