An interesting letter in today’s Commercial Appeal should have run before early voting, but because it shows the negative side of Instant Runoff Voting, they ran it today at the last minute.
A woman from Vermont writes:
In 2005, in a low turnout election in Burlington, Vermont, residents voted to use IRV for mayoral races. The campaign for IRV promised majority winners, lower costs and to be one of the first cities to use IRV. Our experience with IRV was a disaster.
The 2006 IRV election had a low turnout. The winner received less than a majority. It cost more, and there was plenty of confusion. The 2009 election was worse. The candidate with the most overall support lost when IRV shuffled the ballots. The result was disbelief, distrust of the voting process. The mayor was deemed illegitimate.
IRV promises crashed. There was angry voter backlash. We were the first city to repeal IRV in 2010. Many cities have followed. I know people may be excited to try IRV. They think it’s good for democracy. I was one of them. But I found firsthand that it does not live up to the salesmen’s promises. It was a hard lesson to learn. I wish someone had warned us in 2005.
Exactly. You have to wonder what the people pushing it are getting out of it.
If you haven’t voted, you need to vote “for” on the second referenda because that will repeal IRV.