Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Durham Community Leader says NO to Instant Runoff, warns of legal action

Instant Runoff Voting was given a huge kiss off in Durham North Carolina at a Thursday City Council Meeting. IRV wasn't even on the agenda, plurality elections was. But Instant runoff advocates had been trying to raise interest in Durham, but faced strong opposition.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Durham Community leaders oppose Instant Runoff Voting at City Council Meeting
Instant runoff voting was not on the agenda at the Durham City Council meeting last night, but opposing it was on the minds of local community leaders. Further, one very influential leader threatened legal action....

You can see
video of the meeting at the Durham County City Govt website. There's a drop down list where you can jump right to the part of the agenda discussing Durham's elections:

From transcripts of the meeting:

44. Proposed City Charter Amendment to Change the Process of Conducting Durham Municipal Elections

Dr. Lavonia Allison - President of the Durham Committee on the Affairs of Black People (around 2:49)"I stand opposed to this. Democracy is an open process, you should not come up with any process which we limit participatory democracy. This whole idea is that voting is a landmark of the people… even if its expensive. We spend a whole a lot of money on…..Just vote it down (non partisan plurality elections).I’m not going to be for instant runoff voting either, because I’ve got a whole lot of things to say about that too.."

Stella Adams - Vice Chair of NC Democratic Party and Housing Chair and Economic Empowerment Coordinator at NC NAACP (around 3:02)"I am here to speak, to inform and then to speak. I was an elected official in Durham 20 years ago and I …the Soil and Water races are local races that are plurality races…so and my daughter Danielle was elected in November in a plurality race… So it is not a new form of election in Durham County.. That’s just a fact.. I m not supporting or opposing.

But I am here, to absolutely put it on the record that I am absolutely to the core opposed to instant runoff voting. And I believe that the issue of Instant runoff voting has clouded the discussions. And I want to make it very clear that that will cost the city money, not save the city money. Because I promise you that I will be protecting my right to vote, with legal action should you choose to do that. .

People in my family have died for the right to the vote I mean buried in their graves for the right to vote… My aunt was denied the vote because she could not explain Article 3 of the constitution. Through a poll, a literacy test.

We have a family ritual that which we will carry out on May 6 of this year, when my son turns 18 and we walk our children to register to vote. And we tell them that history.Instant runoff voting disenfranchises black people, And I will fight to protect that.

NO to instant runoff voting!"

Instant Runoff Voting driven by Political Narcism in Cary, North Carolina?

After the IRV meltdown in Cary N. C. in 2007, why DOES Councilman Erv Portman keep trying to revive Instant Runoff Voting? The Town council dealt IRV a death blow on March 15, 2009 when they voted 6-1 to adopt non partisan plurality elections. They've had enough with the unintended consequences of this well meaning reform.

Chris Telesca, a verified voting activist in Wake County has an opinion, I think its tongue in cheek, but with Chris, its hard to tell sometimes:

"I must confess that I secretly feel that Erv's actions are not that he really believes in IRV as an election method. I feel it's a form political narcissism - IRV is pronounced the same way that his first name (Erv) is pronounced. So for Erv, it's not like looking into a mirror and seeing his own reflection (which got Narcissus into trouble) but like listening to your own name being called over and over and OVER again (like Cary IRV supporters kept pronouncing IRV as one word, not spelling it out)."