Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Pierce voters ditch instant runoff voting - save $500K for taxpayers immediately

Three years ago Pierce County Washington voters adopted instant runoff voting or ranked choice voting. They were told it was the hottest thing going, they wanted it, they got it, then they hated it.

Majority of Pierce County voters reject Instant Runoff Voting on Nov 3
Instant runoff voting was rejected by an overwhelming majority of Pierce County Washington Voters. 44,145 of 64,106 voters said yes to ditching instant runoff voting, also called ranked choice voting. That is 71.76% for eliminating IRV and 28.24% who wanted to keep IRV.

Pierce voters nix ‘ranked-choice voting’
November 10th, 2009...It was widely advertised as the latest cool thing in voting – “ranked-choice voting” or “instant-runoff voting.”

Proponents say that in retrospect, voters were probably confused by having two separate ballots and because they needed more information on how the system worked. If it catches on elsewhere in the country, as they expect, voters here may be more receptive, they say. Elections activist Krist Novoselic, who backs RCV, said “In retrospect, the (repeal) amendment was inevitable once the Supreme Court ruling in 2008 restored Washington’s Top 2 system for our state and federal races.

Elections Director Nick Handy, no fan, said it was probably the death knell for the change:

“Just three years ago, Pierce County voters enthusiastically embraced this new idea as a replacement for the then highly unpopular Pick-a-Party primary.” Pierce County did a terrific job implementing ranked choice voting, but voters flat out did not like it.

The rapid rejection of this election model that has been popular in San Francisco, but few other places, was expected, but no one really anticipated how fast the cradle to grave cycle would run. The voters wanted it. The voters got and tried it. The voters did not like it. And the voters emphatically rejected it. All in a very quick three years.”

And already saving Pierce County taxpayers money:

Nearly $3M cut in Pierce County Council's 2010 budget
Nov 10 2009... Voters' repeal of Ranked-Choice Voting last week also freed-up $500,000 would have been needed to implement the voting system for the 2010 election.

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