Monday, May 16, 2011

Wall Street Journal: Rob Richie against disclosing all vote data in instant runoff voting elections

There's an article and also blog post in the Wall Street Journal about instant runoff voting. (There was referendum on IRV in UK that recently failed). Rob Richie of Fair Vote argues against voters having all of the vote data, because seeing it might cause voters to lose confidence in the election results.

MAY 13, 2011, 8:54 PM ET
A Split Vote on Alternative Electoral Systems
Richie said he prefers that the full details not be released, in part so that candidates who lose don't parse all the results in search of an argument that they should have won.
"I've come to believe we shouldn't put all the rankings out there for people to mull over and second-guess the outcomes," he said.
An important part of elections, he added, "is for those who have lost to accept they lost and move on."
He also would rather not arm instant runoff's opponents with material for what he calls "post-election `math masturbation' that IRV opponents can do when they have full tallies to work with."  

Because if you looked at the vote data, you might lose confidence in the instant runoff voting election method.  Lack of confidence has caused jurisdictions like Burlington Vermont and Aspen Colorado to ditch IRV.

About 10 days ago, Fair Vote issued a report arguing that recounts rarely made a difference. Why bother, it will only upset you!  Pam Smith, President of Verified Voting argues that recounts DO matter !

Meanwhile, folks in Wakesha County Wisconsin are paying close attention to a recount that may not ever yield true results, because the Election clerk kept election database on her computer that no one else could access.

Colleagues see Nickolaus as insular, hardworking
Waukesha County clerk's error is at center of Supreme Court recount

See comments to the article, they are very telling.
But the recount WILL expose the gaps and fraud if any in the administration of the election.

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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Honolulu rejects State Legislature proposal for Instant Runoff Voting

From: City Councilman
Sent: Wednesday, April 20, 2011 3:51 PM
Subject: UPDATE: PRESS RELEASE - City Council Unanimously Opposes State's Proposed Mandate for Instant Runoff Voting
Contact Tom Berg – (808) 753-7324 

 HonoluluHawaii – Today, the Honolulu City Council unanimously adopted Resolution 11-116 which urges the Hawaii State Legislature to defer action on House Bill No. 638, HD1 SD1 which would force the City & County of Honolulu along with the County of Hawaii to implement a new type of voting procedure during special elections called ‘instant runoff voting’ or ‘ranked choice voting’ which requires voters to rank candidates in order of preference rather than merely selecting one candidate to vote for. 
Honolulu City Councilman Tom Berg, who was elected on 29 December 2010 in a special election to fill a vacancy on the council, describes the sudden push for ranked choice voting this way:  “It’s a huge infringement on the long established concept of home rule and an assault on our democratic form of government in clear violation of the Constitutional principle of one man-one vote.  It’s also an unfunded, discriminatory mandate on just two of our four counties during a time of scarce resources.  And it’s obviously a partisan, vendetta-flavored overreaction to the elections of Charles Djou to Congress and Tom Berg to the City Council, both of which occurred during special elections.”
Berg continued:  “It’s a non-reform masquerading as a reform.  Bill 638 will destroy our democratic form of representative government by further suppressing the two party system and perpetuating a one party stranglehold on Hawaii.  Minority representation will be harder to achieve.  And if anything has been proven in recent months, it’s that Democrats alone cannot run Hawaii properly.”
The State House bill, introduced by Berg’s former opponent for State House, Rep. Rida Cabanilla, is scheduled to be considered by a conference committee tomorrow morning at 10:30am at the State Capitol in conference room 325.
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Monday, February 14, 2011

Instant runoff voting - a black vote in Oakland was 4/5 the weight..

Ranked Choice Voting - Oakland City Council Discussion on February 3, 2011. A citizen speaking near the end of the video: "I contend that.. rank choice voting is rank in terms in what it has done to the African American voice... a black vote in Oakland was 4/5 in weight...than folks coming from more affluent parts of the community..Considering we spent $3.30 per voter .. in education..."

Did people understand the process beyond the marking of the ballot? It wasn't just black people who were confused with the process. Council members believe a survey should be done to find out whether or not this process is what people thought it would be... There's alot of dissatisfaction.. There are many people who have questions about this process.

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Saturday, February 12, 2011

DC: Instant Runoff Voting: Does It Make Sense?

The DCist writes about how instant runoff voting was used in DC for Democracy's endorsement process. If it is this confusing, and if results are that distorted - with just 29 voters, imagine if used in real life elections.

Instant Runoff Voting: Does It Make Sense?
But while last night's endorsement is but one tiny sample of IRV -- only 29 voters, at least two of which obviously had no problem voting for a Simpsons reference while determining an endorsement for a crowded field of special election candidates -- it does highlight some of the frailties of the method: namely, how it could potentially award a mandate to someone who normally would only squeak by into office. Last night's endorsement vote won't do much to increase the chances of D.C. using IRV to settle any elections anytime soon -- after all, if some of the most politically involved people on the internet can't figure it out, how would one expect the public-at-large, so used to "one person, one vote" concept, to?

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Thursday, February 3, 2011

Ranked Choice Voting in California - instant runoff voting in action

About the adoption of Ranked Choice Voting or Instant Runoff Voting in California jurisdictions.Did IRV/RCV perform as advertised? Did IRV result in majority wins in San Francisco? Did voters use IRV or rank choices on their ballots? Watch the video.

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Saturday, January 1, 2011

SF Examiner - instant runoff voting a 'confusing mess of electoral engineering'

Instant runoff voting made the San Francisco Examiner's list of gaffes and laughs of 2010. The Examiner describes IRV as a "confusing mess of electoral engineering."  Another apt description might be  "a hot mess".  IRV changed winners into losers in both San Francisco and Oakland, turning elections into nothing better than Three Card Monte
Thanks for the gaffes and laughs  By: Ken Garcia 12/26/10 San Francisco Examiner.... 
Ranked-choice voting
This confusing mess of electoral engineering resulted in the top first-place vote-getters being denied victory in at least three local races, including two supervisor districts in San Francisco and the mayor’s campaign in Oakland. Surprisingly, this system of lucky losers is gaining traction in cities, when what it should be receiving is the Jimmy Hoffa treatment.
Read more at the San Francisco Examiner

Yes, other cities have adopted instant runoff voting and will have to learn the hard way. Several have recently tried and ditched IRVSunnyvale California, Aspen, Colorado, Cary North Carolina, Pierce County Washington, Burlington Vermont, the Utah Republican Party and even Georgetown University.

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