Changes to Elections Needed; Instant ...

Changes to Elections Needed; Instant Runoff Voting ?

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Joker

Gainesboro, TN

#1 Nov 12, 2012
I will be posting a couple of different posts about this as it is quite large.

I think most of us agree that a person should have 51%+ of the vote to win an election, especially when 7-8 people decide to run for an office. With our election being in early August and the winners taking over on Sep 01, this leaves no time for our military voters to receive another ballot (by law) to have a traditional runoff election (they get 45 days by law). Instant runoff voting is an alternative we should consider to implement in our voting laws in the county. DO NOT BE AFRAID OF CHANGE.

For those who do not know what Instant Runoff Voting (IRV) or Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) is;

http://www.instantrunoff.com/

"Instant runoff voting (IRV) empowers voters to rank candidates in order of choice and upholds the goal of majority rule. Since 2002, IRV has replaced plurality voting and traditional runoff elections in more than a dozen states and cities in the United States."

As you can see it is not a "new" idea and more than a dozen states and cities in the United States use it already.

Here's an example of one ( www.fairvote.org ..... FairVote is a non-profit, non-partisan election reform and research organization based in Takoma Park (MD));

Ranked Choice Voting in Portland, Maine

Ranked choice voting (RCV, or “instant runoff voting”) was used for the first time in Portland, Maine to elect the mayor in November 2011. The city voted to use ranked choice voting in November 2010 at the same time they decided to have an elected rather than an appointed mayor position. The position of Mayor in Portland had not been elected for 88 years.

The high interest in the election made it very competitive, with 15 candidates running and voter turnout about 50% higher than election officials predicted. All evidence suggests voters adjusted well to the new ballot, and reactions to the use of RCV were overwhelmingly positive.

Analysis of 2011 Election;

Analysis of voters

In the final count of ballots in Portland, there were only 32 invalid ballots out of 20,212 ballots cast, or 0.16%. Also, the winner of the election, Michael Brennan, earned most first choices and was also the most successful at reaching out to supporters of other candidates and gaining 2nd, 3rd, and 4th choice votes.

The largest local paper, the Portland Press Herald, has been skeptical about tying election of a mayor to RCV, but wrote a glowing editorial entitled ; “Brennan, ranked-choice voting both winners”:

"Without ranked-choice voting this would have been a very different campaign. If they were just seeking to have the most votes on Election Night, the candidates would have targeted a number of voters, identified their supporters and made sure they turned out to the polls. In this case, about 5,000 votes from nearly 20,000 cast would have been enough. A candidate with a hot-button neighborhood issue could have run away with the election without ever meeting a voter from another part of town. Under the ranked-choice system, candidates were forced to engage with each other and talk to each others' voters. The result was an interesting conversation about Portland and its future that would not have happened in a "turn-out-your-base" election. That debate helped clarify the job description for Portland's mayor, and it will make life easier for Brennan when he shows up for work."

Such outcomes show that ranked choice voting is not just a math exercise. Although it’s an effective means to handle more than two choices, it can be much more. Repeatedly, we are seeing RCV winners being the candidates who do a particularly effective job at reaching out to voters, often with direct contact involving community debates, local events, and door-knocking. One Portland candidate, David Marshall, said he knocked on 20,000 doors. He didn't win, but it was ballots from his supporters that provided a particularly strong boost to the new mayor’s win total.

CONTINUED ......
Joker

Gainesboro, TN

#2 Nov 12, 2012
....Our one-day survey of 122 early voters underscores some of these values. They reported that they were more engaged in this election than usual, felt the candidates were more civil than the norm and were far more likely to vote for the candidates they most supported without worrying about whether they could win.

The exit survey from that election is also very interesting;

http://www.fairvote.org/assets/NewFolder-3/Po...

1) More positive campaigns: 41% of respondents felt there was less negative campaigning than usual, as opposed to only 9% percent who found it more negative.

2) More sincere voting: 45% of respondents felt more inclined to vote for their preferred candidate than in past elections, as opposed to only 1% percent (1 person) who said they were less inclined.

3) More information about election: 39% of respondents said they gathered more information about candidates than in past elections, as opposed to 9% who said they gathered less information

4) More support for using RCV: 28% of respondents strongly supported RCV for electing the mayor, as opposed to only 8% that strongly opposed it. Overall, more than twice as many respondents supported RCV for mayoral elections than opposed it.

Voters also indicated that most voters found the ballot easy to use:

1) Instructions and ballot design: 94% said they understood the voting instructions and design fully, 5% partially understood them and only 1 person was confused.

2) Ranking candidates easy: 40% of vote found the concept of ranking candidates very easy as opposed to 4% who found it very hard. A total of 66% found it easy.

3) Voters ranked candidates: Nearly three times as many voters ranked more than five candidates as ranked only one. 88% ranked at least two candidates.

CONTINUED .....
Joker

Gainesboro, TN

#3 Nov 12, 2012
.....

This is interesting as it pertains to our issue here with conducting a traditional runoff election;

Ballots for Overseas Voters

Problem: If an election calendar schedule a second-round runoff too close to the first round election, it becomes difficult to print and mail ballots to overseas voters (such as soldiers stationed abroad) and have them return those ballots in time to be counted. Some states address this problem by extending the time between election rounds, but this change lengthens the campaign season for voters at home and may not help the overseas voter.

Solution: Under instant runoff voting, voters rank candidates in order of preference on a single ranked choice ballot. If a candidate receives a majority of first choices, he or she is elected. If no candidate receives that initial majority, the candidate with the fewest first choices is eliminated. Voters who ranked the eliminated candidate first now have their ballots added to the totals of their second choice. This process continues until one candidate earns a majority of votes against their remaining opponents.

As detailed at includeeveryvoter.org , overseas voters can make use of the ranked choice ballot to make sure their vote counts in more than one election. Voters receive a ranked choice ballot along with their regular ballot. They return both ballots at the same time. In the event of a second election, their ranked choice ballot is counted for the runoff candidate who is ranked higher on their ballot. Overseas voters do not have to worry about receiving and returning a new ballot after the first election. Election administrators only need to send one mailing overseas.

Louisiana, South Carolina, Arkansas and Springfield (IL) all successfully use IRV for overseas military voters in their runoff elections for federal primaries and other offices.

From www.fairvote.org "Upholding the principle of majority rule and accommodating genuine voter choice are marks of a well-functioning democracy. That's why we encourage understanding, adoption and effective implementation of instant runoff voting, a ranked choice voting system used in a growing number of American elections."

IRV has even been held up in Federal court as being legal and good for the voters;

S.F.'s Ranked-Choice Voting system withstands federal legal challenge

U.S. District Court cites 'important government interests that are well-served by the limitation' to voters' top three electoral choices

http://www.sfcityattorney.org/index.aspx...

- Another site explaining Instant Runoff Voting;

http://www.accuratedemocracy.com/c_irv.htm

- Video explaining how IRV works;

http://www.youtube.com/watch...
Joker

Gainesboro, TN

#4 Nov 12, 2012
I ask that if you post on here, you post not just your OPINION, but FACTS that can be SUBSTANTIATED by documented cases, rulings, or other such items.... NOT just your $.02.

Since: Jun 08

Location hidden

#5 Nov 12, 2012
http://minguo.info/election_methods/irv

http://www.ncvoter.net/irv.html

http://www.sec.state.vt.us/elections_new/IRV %...

http://sjsc.ca.lwvnet.org/StudyofInstantRunof ...

http://www.news-record.com/blog/54431/entry/1 ...

At this time,no...Let the people have a little time to heal,and then let's take our time and not rush into things like the charter issue..It is fairly new in Tennessee,so we need to be cautious.
Joker

Gainesboro, TN

#6 Nov 12, 2012
Green Hornet 007 wrote:
Not a reputable source; I clicked on the contact link and at the bottom of the page, this was listed; "Site hébergé par la coopérative Ouvaton. Nom de domaine enregistré chez Gandi."

I believe I'll take my sources from inside the United States.

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Green Hornet 007 wrote:
This site offers both pros and cons to IRV. At least it's in the U.S.A.

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Green Hornet 007 wrote:
Link didn't work

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Green Hornet 007 wrote:
This was a study of whether or not the League of Women Voters in Santa Clara County California should support an alternative voting system.... not a scientific study .... moreso of them stating their opinions.

But from one of their references on the page; "From a strictly mathematical point of view, the quirks of I.R.V. are about average. They’re hardly more troublesome than (and, as Gottlieb does not mention, often identical with) those of the non-F.P.T.P. alternatives,“approval voting,” where you put an X next to the candidates you find acceptable, but without ranking them, and “range voting,” where you give points to the candidates, like stars in a movie or restaurant review, and the candidate with the most points wins."

And another;

"This system is often touted as having the benefit of ensuring majority rule while not requiring a costly second election, either a primary or a runoff. These benefits are true and very important ones. However, I believe that one element of IRV that is often overlooked is that it permits people to vote as they see fit without having to worry about the effect of their votes. Yes, a voter’s first choice may not win. However, IRV increases the odds that the candidate who wins will share at least some of the views held by a majority of voters."

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Green Hornet 007 wrote:
BLOCKED on this one, guess you have to have an account.
Dale Sheldon-Hess

Ashburn, VA

#7 Nov 13, 2012
IRV is the least-effective alternate voting system:

http://leastevil.blogspot.com/2010/05/what-do...

Ranked-order ballots cannot escape the rut of two-party domination:

http://leastevil.blogspot.com/2012/01/declara...

Half of the "dozen" of cities and states that implemented IRV since 2002 have since repealed it, including, famously, Burlington VT:

http://leastevil.blogspot.com/2009/03/irv-fai...
tired of the bs

Cookeville, TN

#8 Nov 13, 2012
Why is it that some people in this county insist the people change, when they do not want to change???? 75% of the voters do not want change, my advice is to quite trying to shove something down peoples throat that they do not want! If you want to change things, research, research, and let the people know the good, bad and ugly facts before you shove it up thei arse!! enough is a enough
Joker

Gainesboro, TN

#9 Nov 13, 2012
Dale Sheldon-Hess wrote:
IRV is the least-effective alternate voting system: http://leastevil.blogspot.com/2010/05/what-do...
Nothing mentioned about IRV in this blogpost by the original poster. The replies mention it a few times but nothing really substantiated. Some for, some against. One does mention that IRV is more accurate than any other alternate method of voting.

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Dale Sheldon-Hess wrote:
Ranked-order ballots cannot escape the rut of two-party domination:
http://leastevil.blogspot.com/2012/01/declara...
Nothing mentioned of IRV in the original poster; but several of the replies mention it, most are in favor of it.

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Dale Sheldon-Hess wrote:
Half of the "dozen" of cities and states that implemented IRV since 2002 have since repealed it, including, famously, Burlington VT:
http://leastevil.blogspot.com/2009/03/irv-fai...
Only one of them, and it was only defeated by 303 votes. Not a landslide. I'd say more of a GOTV campaign made it more successful....who knows.

-

Although I thank you for posting, all of your references are from the same blogspot. Obviously you should do a little more research and expand your mind a little and not rely on a blog as "facts".
Joker

Gainesboro, TN

#10 Nov 13, 2012
I'll try to explain IRV so that everyone might understand it. We'll pretend that I (Joker), Green Hornet007 (GH), and Just Common Sense (JCC) are running for Dog Catcher using Instant Runoff Voting here in Fentress County.

Each voter in the county (we'll say there are 100 voters in the county for argument sake) gets to rank us in the order the prefer us to get elected (#1, 2, or 3) on the day of elections when they cast their other ballots; and that we have changed our elections policy where a person must get 51%+ to win an election.

After the voting is over here are the totals for us receiving #1 votes;

Joker: 40
GH: 35
JCC: 25

Since neither of us got the 51% or more (of #1 votes) to win, we immediately go to round 2 of IRV.

Since JCC had the lowest number of # 1 votes, their votes are divided to Joker and GH. They are divided by the number of #2 votes that Joker and GH received.

Let's say that Joker received 13 #2 votes (by the people who voted for JCC #1) and GH received 12 #2 votes (by the people who voted for JCC #1).

The round 2 results would be;

Joker: 53
GH: 47

Since Joker now has 51%+, he would win the election. Election is over and no additional costs would be incurred (after the initial costs of setting up for IRV).

This way, a persons vote is never "wasted". It is always counted in the order in which he/she casts it. Their primary candidate may not win but it increases the chances of their secondary etc candidates of winning and stopping those who do NOT share their thoughts and ideas from getting elected .... especially with just 20% of the vote.... no more spoilers! Which we've had for decades around here!

Definitely worth watching;

http://www.youtube.com/watch...
Joker

Gainesboro, TN

#11 Nov 13, 2012
tired of the bs wrote:
Why is it that some people in this county insist the people change, when they do not want to change???? 75% of the voters do not want change, my advice is to quite trying to shove something down peoples throat that they do not want! If you want to change things, research, research, and let the people know the good, bad and ugly facts before you shove it up thei arse!! enough is a enough
75% of the county didn't want the Charter!

This county needs change in a few areas and elections are one of them.

The purpose of this thread IS for the good, bad, and the ugly. Apparently you are the ugly.

However, if you can offer any intelligent conversation to the subject, by all means, fire away. If not, shut your c*ckholster!
Dale Sheldon-Hess

Ashburn, VA

#12 Nov 13, 2012
Joker wrote:
Nothing mentioned about IRV in this blogpost by the original poster.[/quote]

Look at the graphic. You'll note the IRV worst case is the same as the plurality worst case, and the IRV *best* case is less-good than the approval voting *worst* case.

[QUOTE who="Joker"]
Nothing mentioned of IRV in the original poster; but several of the replies mention it, most are in favor of it.[/quote]

IRV is a ranked-ballot method, and so is included in the critique.

[QUOTE who="Joker"]
Only one of them[/quote]

Burlington VT, Aspen CO, Pierce County WA, Cary NC. That's at least four. What else are you counting in your original "dozen" claim?

[QUOTE who="Joker"]Although I thank you for posting, all of your references are from the same blogspot. Obviously you should do a little more research and expand your mind a little and not rely on a blog as "facts".
There all from *my* blogspot, and I've include extensive supporting documentation over the four years I've been writing it; each of the links in each article is worth clicking through.

Voting method reform is a great idea, but of all the possible alternates, instant runoff is the worst one.
Dale Sheldon-Hess

Ashburn, VA

#13 Nov 13, 2012
Joker wrote:
Nothing mentioned about IRV in this blogpost by the original poster.
Look at the graphic. You'll note the IRV worst case is the same as the plurality worst case, and the IRV *best* case is less-good than the approval voting *worst* case.
Joker wrote:
Nothing mentioned of IRV in the original poster; but several of the replies mention it, most are in favor of it.
IRV is a ranked-ballot method, and so is included in the critique.
Joker wrote:
Only one of them
Burlington VT, Aspen CO, Pierce County WA, Cary NC. That's at least four. What else are you counting in your original "dozen" claim?
Joker wrote:
Although I thank you for posting, all of your references are from the same blogspot. Obviously you should do a little more research and expand your mind a little and not rely on a blog as "facts".
There all from *my* blogspot, and I've include extensive supporting documentation over the four years I've been writing it; each of the links in each article is worth clicking through.

Voting method reform is a great idea, but of all the possible alternates, instant runoff is the worst one.

(Oops; guess those /quotes need to be in caps; let me try that again...)
Dale Sheldon-Hess

Ashburn, VA

#14 Nov 13, 2012
To refute the main point of your example: IRV has spoilers.

Let me expand your example slightly, and add the extra assumption that the GH voters split 26 for JCC and 9 for Joker in their second preferences:

40: Joker > (others)
13: JCC > Joker
12: JCC > GH
26: GH > JCC
9: GH > Joker

This proceeds exactly as you originaly claimed, but with this extra bit of information when can make a new claim: The election was spoiled.

This is easy to see if you consider what would have happened if GH had not run. Specifically, Joker would have gotten 49 votes, and JCC 51. In other words, if GH had not run, then the winner would have been JCC. In other words, by a non-winning candidate deciding to run, they changed the winner of the election. That's a spoiler.
Joker

Gainesboro, TN

#15 Nov 13, 2012
Dale Sheldon-Hess wrote:
To refute the main point of your example: IRV has spoilers.
Let me expand your example slightly, and add the extra assumption that the GH voters split 26 for JCC and 9 for Joker in their second preferences:
40: Joker > (others)
13: JCC > Joker
12: JCC > GH
26: GH > JCC
9: GH > Joker
This proceeds exactly as you originaly claimed, but with this extra bit of information when can make a new claim: The election was spoiled.
This is easy to see if you consider what would have happened if GH had not run. Specifically, Joker would have gotten 49 votes, and JCC 51. In other words, if GH had not run, then the winner would have been JCC. In other words, by a non-winning candidate deciding to run, they changed the winner of the election. That's a spoiler.
Why did you split GH's votes? If he "did not" run then he wouldn't have any votes to start with??!?
Joker

Gainesboro, TN

#16 Nov 13, 2012
Dale Sheldon-Hess wrote:
<quoted text>
Look at the graphic. You'll note the IRV worst case is the same as the plurality worst case, and the IRV *best* case is less-good than the approval voting *worst* case.
<quoted text>
IRV is a ranked-ballot method, and so is included in the critique.
<quoted text>
Burlington VT, Aspen CO, Pierce County WA, Cary NC. That's at least four. What else are you counting in your original "dozen" claim?
<quoted text>
There all from *my* blogspot, and I've include extensive supporting documentation over the four years I've been writing it; each of the links in each article is worth clicking through.
Voting method reform is a great idea, but of all the possible alternates, instant runoff is the worst one.
(Oops; guess those /quotes need to be in caps; let me try that again...)
I'll try and read more of "your" blogs. But I ALL of the blogs and ALL of the replies of the links you provided. I still stand by my replies above.

I have a question, have you ever ran for political office and were affected by IRV?
Joker

Gainesboro, TN

#17 Nov 13, 2012
Dale Sheldon-Hess wrote:
To refute the main point of your example: IRV has spoilers.
Let me expand your example slightly, and add the extra assumption that the GH voters split 26 for JCC and 9 for Joker in their second preferences:

40: Joker > (others)
13: JCC > Joker
12: JCC > GH
26: GH > JCC
9: GH > Joker

This proceeds exactly as you originaly claimed, but with this extra bit of information when can make a new claim: The election was spoiled.

This is easy to see if you consider what would have happened if GH had not run. Specifically, Joker would have gotten 49 votes, and JCC 51. In other words, if GH had not run, then the winner would have been JCC.

In other words, by a non-winning candidate deciding to run, they changed the winner of the election. That's a spoiler.
Let me clarify your clarification;

51: JCC
49: Joker

Since GH never ran, he wouldn't receive any votes and JCC would win in the first round of voting with 51% of the vote.
Dale Sheldon-Hess

Ashburn, VA

#18 Nov 13, 2012
Joker wrote:
<quoted text>
Why did you split GH's votes? If he "did not" run then he wouldn't have any votes to start with??!?
You've missed the point.

The point is, if GH doesn't run (and so his voters *can't* pick him, but have to pick someone else) then the winner changes.

In other words, GH is a spoiler.

It's like if I said to you "Ralph Nader spoiled the election for Al Gore in Florida in 2000; out of his 97,000 votes, at least 600 would have voted for Gore if Nader hadn't been on the ballot." You've missed the point if you respond with "But all 97,000 of those people voted for Nader!!!!"
Dale Sheldon-Hess

Ashburn, VA

#19 Nov 13, 2012
I have never run for public office, and IRV has never been implemented in any state I have lived in.(Your forum insists that I live in California; I do not.)

You have to be able to consider hypothetical cases to understand this. Whether or not GH runs, voters have an opinion about him. Yes, only if he runs will voters be able to express it, but they still have an opinion about it.

In the case where he runs, Joker wins. In the case where he does not, JCC wins. In either case, GH does not win, but his choice to run, or not, changes the winner, and that's the definition of a spoiler.
Joker

Gainesboro, TN

#20 Nov 13, 2012
Dale Sheldon-Hess wrote:
<quoted text>
You've missed the point.
The point is, if GH doesn't run (and so his voters *can't* pick him, but have to pick someone else) then the winner changes.
In other words, GH is a spoiler.
It's like if I said to you "Ralph Nader spoiled the election for Al Gore in Florida in 2000; out of his 97,000 votes, at least 600 would have voted for Gore if Nader hadn't been on the ballot." You've missed the point if you respond with "But all 97,000 of those people voted for Nader!!!!"
I didn't miss the point.

If someone isn't on the ballot, they aren't a spoiler! They are a voter, just like you and I.

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