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1 Instant Runoff Voting What It Might Mean for Minneapolis Improving Democracy Study Session of the Minneapolis City Council April 22, 2005.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Instant Runoff Voting What It Might Mean for Minneapolis Improving Democracy Study Session of the Minneapolis City Council April 22, 2005."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Instant Runoff Voting What It Might Mean for Minneapolis Improving Democracy Study Session of the Minneapolis City Council April 22, 2005

2 2 Session Organizers Session Sponsors:Dan Niziolek Robert Lilligren Convenor:Robert Lilligren Presenters:Susanne Griffin Jeanne Massey Tony Solgård

3 3 Session Overview Part 1) What is Instant Runoff Voting? Why use Instant Runoff Voting? Part 2)How does Instant Runoff Voting work? Part 3)Demonstration election

4 4 Session Overview Part 4) Where is Instant Runoff Voting used? How well is it working? Part 5)How might Instant Runoff Voting change campaigning? Part 6) What would it take to implement Instant Runoff Voting in Minneapolis?

5 5 What is Instant Runoff Voting? Instant Runoff Voting (IRV) is a ranked-ballot voting method that assures the majority of voters will choose the winner when there are more than two candidates for a single office. Part 1

6 6 Why use Instant Runoff Voting? Higher voter turnout IRV combines nonpartisan primary with November general election, when voter turnout is highest. Leading scholars say IRV contributes to moderately higher voter turnout compared to Plurality Voting. Part 1

7 7 Why use Instant Runoff Voting? Saves taxes Minneapolis would save approximately $200,000 in the election year by eliminating the primary runoff election. Part 1

8 8 Why use Instant Runoff Voting? Ensures a candidate wins with a majority of voter support Three candidates for single office can result in winner chosen by less than 50% of voters Part 1

9 9 Why use Instant Runoff Voting? No more spoilers and wasted votes Similar candidates can divide the majority, resulting in the election of a candidate opposed by majority. Voters are empowered to vote sincerely, without strategic dilemmas, eliminating the wasted vote problem. Part 1

10 10 Why use Instant Runoff Voting? Expanded political process IRV accommodates a wider diversity of political opinion on the ballot. IRV more accurately tallies voter support for minority platforms. Part 1

11 11 Why use Instant Runoff Voting? Campaign finance reform Without a primary election, candidates won't have to raise and spend as much money, supporting the goals of campaign finance reform. Part 1

12 12 Why use Instant Runoff Voting? Better campaigns Coalition-building will be encouraged and negative campaigning discouraged by the incentive to appeal for number two rankings from the supporters of other candidates. Part 1

13 13 How does IRV work? Sample Ranked Ballot: Rank the candidates in order of preference Part 2

14 14 Strategic Voting? Ranking a different 2nd and 3rd choice will not hurt your 1st choice -- because your vote goes to your lower choice only if your higher choice has lost Ranking your favorite candidate three times will not help that candidate Ranking only a single candidate (bullet voting) will not give an advantage to that candidate. And if your first choice is eliminated, you will no longer participate in the runoff. Part 2

15 15 Recount All Ballots Recount All Ballots Count Voters First Choices Winner! Count Finished Eliminate Last Place Candidate Does One Candidate Have a Majority? Does One Candidate Have a MAJORITY? YES NO How does IRV work? Part 2

16 16 Step One: Count all the FIRST CHOICES First Choice Totals in a Sample Election with Four Candidates Part 2

17 17 Step Two: Does any candidate have a majority of first choices? (Majority is MORE than 50% of the vote) First Choice Totals in a Sample Election with Four Candidates Part 2

18 18 First Choice Totals in a Sample Election with Four Candidates Part 2 Step Three: The candidate with LEAST number of first choices is eliminated from the runoff

19 19 Votes from Candidate B transferred to voters second choices Part 2

20 20 Votes from Candidate A transferred to voters second and third choices Part 2

21 21 Demonstration Election Choosing our favorite ice cream flavor: a demonstration election Part 2

22 22 Demonstration Election Rank the candidates in order of preference Part 3

23 23 Demonstration Election Part 3

24 24 Where is IRV used? Internationally Australia Ireland Malta* Papua New Guinea London. In the United States San Francisco CA Cambridge MA* Louisiana overseas absentees Part 4 *Included here are jurisdictions using the IRV-related proportional representation form of ranked ballots

25 25 Where has IRV been approved? Instant Runoff Voting has been approved and is pending its first use for elections across the country, including : Berkeley CA Oakland CA San Leandro CA Santa Clara County CA Burlington VT Ferndale MI Vancouver, WA Arkansas overseas military Part 4

26 26 IRV Endorsed by Minnesota League of Women Voters In March, after an exhaustive two-year study that involved its entire membership, the League of Women Voters announced that the organization endorses IRV for state and local elections. Part 4

27 27 How might IRV change Campaigning? Part 5 NATIONAL DESK | September 30, 2004, Thursday New Runoff System in San Francisco Has the Rival Candidates Cooperating By DEAN E. MURPHY (NYT) 1387 words Late Edition - Final, Section A, Page 16, Column 1

28 28 What would it take to implement IRV in Minneapolis? Charter Change Voting Equipment Voter Education and Training Cost implications Part 6

29 29 Charter Change Statutory authority for charter to provide for the election procedures for its officers Provide sufficient detail on voting method Make IRV implementation contingent on readiness Communicate why to voters Put the question before the voters Part 6

30 30 Voting Equipment State legislation regarding IRV compatible voting equipment and HAVA requirements Upgrade current optical scan equipment – Current Model 100 Optical Scan Equipment – Relationship with Hennepin County – Current vendor application or RFP for new vendor – Certification process Part 6

31 31 Voter Education Public forums with demonstration elections Internal media - mailings, website, cable TV Public media – news papers, radio, websites Partnerships with voter turnout organizations Part 6

32 32 Training City elections office Election judges Elected officials and city staff Part 6

33 33 Cost Implications Ongoing cost savings by elimination of the primary election Conversion costs – Equipment – Education and training – Ballot redesign Part 6

34 34 Ballot Considerations Multiple ballots Ballot design Part 6

35 35 Reporting Results Same day results Be prepared for larger public interest in the first election Release results in steps, using graphics Part 6

36 36 IRV Resources FairVote - MN League of Women Voters Study on voting methods pdf pdf San Franciscos implementation of IRV - IRV Q & A from Vermont -


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