An appeal to protect voters' rights

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MN Voter

Hyattsville, MD

#1 Feb 25, 2009
Should be called "an appeal to go against the voters' wishes." The people disagree with you, the courts disagree with you; do us all a favor and go away.
Joyce McCloy

Clemmons, NC

#2 Feb 25, 2009
IRV fails to meet its promise, and makes it harder to detect election fraud.

In San Francisco, where IRV has been used since 2004, for over 500,000 registered voters, IRV has produced the same results as plurality (winner take all) elections. Whoever one the first round ended up winning even after the maschinations of counting 2nd and 3rd rounds.
Further, in San Francisco, voter turnout in the 2007 mayora contest was 100,000 voters less than voter turnout in the 2003 mayoral election. So, with IRV, there was a huge decrease in turnout.
In the IRV experiment in Cary North Carolina in 2007, election officials had trouble counting just 3,000 ballots. Due to errors, the ballots and the multiple rounds had to be recounted. This added days to getting results and decreased confidence in the election. The winner of the one contest that required counting the 2nd and 3rd rounds - Don Frantz - won with far less than 50% of the ballots cast. Mr. Frantz was the plurality winner in the first round and in the IRV rounds.
One Wake County Election official said: many voters left their backup choices blank, and that many other voters wrote in backup candidates with names such as “Mickey Mouse” and “Donald Duck.” This is direct evidence that many voters did not understand or accept IRV. Candidates involved in the IRV pilot in Cary have voiced doubts about the process.
In the foreign countries that use IRV, third parties still remain weak. In fact, IRV keeps the top two parties in dominence. History proves this for Ireland and Australia.
Now back to the bottom line - does IRV make it easier to rig elections? 1. IRV is not additive and ballots must be hauled to a central location to count. 2. IRV requires sorting, shuffling and reallocating the votes, making it easy to hide any deliberate fraud.
When Scotland adopted IRV (STV in their case), they switched to computerized voting. In their May 2007 national election, over 100,000 ballot papers were spoiled. What better way could you employ to hide election fraud than by creating massive confusion and chaos as happened in Scotland? And of course, in Scotland, it was the poor and less educated (and most in need of representation) who were hurt the most by this disaster.
Then, take a look at Takoma Park Maryland, the home town of IRV proponent and Fair Vote DIrector Rob Richie - since they adopted IRV, voter turnout has been embarassingly low, no election has triggered the counting of the IRV ballots, and get this - there are no minorities serving on the Town Council. Not one. Think about it.
IRV is a fine academic excercise, but even fails that. This January, Georgetown University decided to ditch Instant Runoff Voting - citing problems. "...the GUSA Senate voted to change the method of voting in the presidential election from instant runoff voting to a plurality system. This change comes in response to controversy over last year's election."
Andy Cilek

Minneapolis, MN

#3 Feb 25, 2009
Just to comment on the first post from MN
Voter:

I would have liked to see you put your real name on your post so people can see who made such an ignorant response. Are you from Minnesota or Virginia? I guess it really doesn't matter, but it was better than Rob Ritchie's ridiculous Ice Cream examples.

John Crea

Saint Paul, MN

#4 Feb 27, 2009
Mr. Cilek,
You argue that
"because of the mathematical complexities that come into play during the vote-transferring process. In close elections, a voter can unknowingly cause harm to his favorite candidate simply by raising him in rank, or ranking him/her as a first choice."
I'm afraid I don't understand how that could happen. Please explain.
Cynthia Callanan

Minneapolis, MN

#5 Mar 1, 2009
The case you cite in Duluth was completely different. There is no such problem with Ranked Choice Voting as it is now proposed for Minneapolis this fall, and hopefully St. Paul in the near future.

This article does more to confuse voters. The process is really quite simple, but it seems that you are determined to spread misinformation.

How is it possible that a voter can unknowingly cause harm to his favorite candidate? A voter simply votes for his favorite candidate as his first choice?

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