I am not from Oakland, but have studied instant runoff voting extensively and if you will permit, I'd like to ask you an important question.
Has the city commissioned a professional fiscal analysis?
Can Oakland, CA afford to implement instant runoff voting within a year?
Is there risk that implementing IRV increase your $19M budget shortfall?
If you haven't done a fiscal analysis, then you should have one done now, to find out how much instant runoff voting's impact on annual operating and capitol expenditures.
If you move ahead with instant runoff voting/IRV, will you expend what is necessary in labor and funds in order to educate your diverse community?
If you move ahead with instant runoff voting/IRV, are you willing to be a large IT beta test and for new voting software and or equipment?
Are you willing to let IRV capability be the number one priority in choosing new voting equipment (over reliability, affordability, proven performance)?
If Oakland cannot afford the expected and unexpected costs of instant runoff voting/IRV, Are you willing to take away funds from other city areas such as police, fire and other basic city services, as well as layoffs of city workers? (Some unexpected contingencies are that the IRV voting system you purchase cannot work as proposed, this happened in Pierce Co Washington. New precinct scanners could not be used and ballots had to be hauled to a central location to be counted)
The multi million $ question is, can Oakland afford to implement instant runoff voting?
Meanwhile, while you are getting that fiscal analysis or deciding which departments to cut, lets address some of the issues with IRV.
IRV IS COSTLY:
See IRV cost estimates or actual cost information for Maine, Maryland, Minneapolis MN, Pierce County Washington, Vermont and San Francisco.It cost Pierce Co 2 million to implement an uncertified system for 375,589 votes – or $5.33 per registered voter! That is on top of the regular costs of their election system. (And Pierce rejected IRV this Nov 3 by huge majority vote) http://tinyurl.com/irvcosts
IRV DOES NOT INCREASE VOTER TURNOUT
IN FACT, MINNEAPOLIS MN JUST HELD FIRST IRV ELECTION ON NOV 3, AND HAD LOWEST VOTER TURNOUT SINCE 1910 http://www.startribune.com/politics/local/69814067.html
IRV USUALLY PRODUCES A PLURALITY WINNER.AND OFTEN SUFFERS FROM MAJORITY FAILURE
IRV has produced a plurality result in 2 out of 3 contests in Pierce Co WA,Out of 20 RCV elections that have been held since the referendum establishing it passed, when IRV was used, it elected a plurality winner.http://tinyurl.com/IRVmajorityfail
IRV LEADS TO 2 PARTY DOMINATIONhttp://tinyurl.com/2partyrule
THERE’S NEVER ENOUGH VOTER EDUCATION:After 4 years of IRV and a fortune spent each year in San Francisco, a Grand Jury Report: said that poll workers and voters do not understand instant runoff.http://tinyurl.com/sfgrandjury
IRV IS DIFFICULT AND COMPLEX TO COUNT:
IRV increases reliance on more complex technology, making audits and recounts more prohibitive, further eroding election transparency. Because IRV is not additive, no matter what voting system is used, the ballots, (electronic or optical scan) have to be hauled away from where they are cast to a central location to be counted. This increases the chance of fraud or lost votes. The tallying software utilizes a complex algorithm that makes the process even more opaque.
Unfortunately, the talking points in favor of IRV do not pan out and reality and the IRV chickens will come back to roost.
For more about IRV that is based on news and reports, see
http://www.instantrunoffvoting.us/ and our blog http://instantrunoff.blogspot.com/
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