Saturday, November 20, 2010

They adopted instant runoff voting but renamed it ranked choice voting

Several jurisdictions in the US have adopted instant runoff voting but quickly changed the name to ranked choice voting. The term instant runoff voting is a misleading one, it implies the same results as a runoff and instantly so. San Franciso, Minneapolis Minnesota and Pierce County Washington all adopted instant runoff voting but renamed it.

San Francisco:

11/5/2004 'Ranked-choice voting' experiment hits tech snag [1]
By Lisa Leff, Associated Press
...
Even before Tuesday's election, Arntz had warned it could take up to three weeks for his staff to complete and double-check the vote tallying process. Under state law, the department has until Nov. 30 to certify the election.

Wednesday's glitch nevertheless was received as a minor public relations setback for the new system approved by San Francisco residents in March 2002. Back then, the pioneering experiment was referred to by its catchier synonym, "instant-runoff voting." City officials switched names a few months ago when they realized there wouldn't be much particularly instantaneous about it.

November 11, 2010 "Garcia: Ranked-choice voting an undemocratic nightmare" [2]
By: Ken Garcia Examiner Staff Writer
...
“We made a decision long ago not to call it instant runoff voting,” said John Arntz, chief of The City’s Elections Department, “because obviously there is no instant runoff.”
Minneapolis, Minnesota:
2/2009 Ranked Choice Voting [3]
City of Minneapolis website. Updates on Planning and Implementation

City of Minneapolis 2/2009: Although it has commonly been referred to as Instant Runoff Voting, abbreviated “IRV”, we will be referring to this method in the future as “Ranked Choice Voting.” The term “Ranked Choice” more accurately reflects the process voters will use to rank candidates in single and multi-seat offices. Also “Ranked Choice” does not promise “instant” results from the process. Historical documents will not be renamed to reflect this name change.

Pierce County, Washington:
"Ranked Choice Voting Explained" [4]
Pierce County Auditor website
Why Ranked Choice Voting?
In November of 2006, the voters of Pierce County approved Instant Runoff Voting, which provides that the election of all county officials, except judges and the Prosecuting Attorney be conducted using instant runoff voting. All qualifying candidates will appear directly on the general election ballot.

Please note that from this point forward this method of voting will be referred to as 'Ranked Choice Voting'. The first Ranked Choice Voting election was held on November 4, 2008.

Footnotes:

[1]11/5/2004 'Ranked-choice voting' experiment hits tech snag
By Lisa Leff, Associated Press
http://www.usatoday.com/tech/news/techpolicy/evoting/2004-11-05-ranked-evote-snafu_x.htm

[2] November 11, 2010 "Garcia: Ranked-choice voting an undemocratic nightmare"
By: Ken Garcia Examiner Staff Writer
http://www.sfexaminer.com/opinion/columns/ken_garcia/Ranked-choice-voting-an-undemocratic-nightmare-107126493.html

[3] 2/2009 Ranked Choice Voting
City of Minneapolis website. Updates on Planning and Implementation
http://www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/elections/rcv.asp

[4] "Ranked Choice Voting Explained"
Pierce County Auditor website
http://www.co.pierce.wa.us/pc/abtus/ourorg/aud/elections/RCV/ranked/rcv.htm


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