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IRV on the Ballot in Pierce County, Washington
A picture of Reiner Tower in Tacoma WashingtonThe Pierce County Charter Review Commission on June 17 approved a measure to add instant runoff voting (IRV) to the ballot for county elections. Appearing on the ballot this November 7th along with a similar measure in Minneapolis (MN), the measure would trigger IRV elections in 2008.

With more than 750,000 people, including the city of Tacoma, Pierce County would join San Francisco as one of the two largest jurisdictions in the nation using IRV. The proposal has a unique twist that would address the problem of low-turnout primaries in states across the nation. Parties would use private means such as conventions or caucuses to nominate one or more candidates for each office, but voters would have a full range of choice among all candidates in one high turnout general election -- avoiding low turnout primaries in August in favor of a spoiler-free, choice-filled majority election in November.

IRV has a history of serious debate in Washington. In 2005, the Washington state legislature passed HB 1447, which empowered various cities to consider a change to IRV.

[ Blog by charter commissioner ]
[ IRV Washington, a pro-IRV group ]
[ News story on the proposed charter changes ]
[ IRV Victories: FairVote’s emerging site designed to boost IRV campaigns ]
[ Testimony to Pierce County Charter Review Commission by FairVote's Caleb Kleppner ]

Featured Media:

August 10th 2009
Commentary: A cure for the political nomination process
Cleveland Plain Dealer

FairVote's Rob Richie and Paul Fidalgo offer a way to give everyone a say in presidential nominations while retaining the valuable state-by-state evaluation process. This piece also ran in McClatchy's newswire.

October 29th 2009
Plurality voting rule is the real election spoiler
Baltimore Sun

In the midst of 3-way races in NJ and NY, FairVote board member and 1980 presidential candidate John Anderson makes the case for IRV over our flawed plurality system.

October 19th 2009
A better election system
Lowell Sun

Election expert Doug Amy explains how choice voting can "inject new blood" into the elections of Lowell (MA), and give voters a greater incentive to participate.

October 19th 2009
Mandatory Voting? Automatic Registration? How Un-American!
Huffington Post

President of Air America Media, Mark Green, explains why Instant Runoff Voting, Automatic Registration and Mandatory Voting are not only important but could lead to a more democratic society.