Instant Runoff Voting: Catching on?

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(Sacramento, CA)
Monday, November 20, 2006

Steven Hill with the New America Foundation has advised campaigns for instant runoff voting—the system that allows people to rank their first, second and third choices for candidates.  He says it makes people feel their votes really count. 
  “And if your first choice can’t use your vote to win, then when they’re eliminated from the runoff, your vote goes to your second choice…”
Hill says half-a dozen California cities have approved the idea including most recently  Oakland and Davis.  San Francisco has held three elections with ranked choice voting.  Director of Elections John Arntz says he’s found constant education efforts are necessary—for new voters and others. 
   “Making sure that there is language assistance and there’s a strong effort to get outreach out to people who speak languages other than English.”
Arntz says he gets requests for advice from registrars all over the country.