By Dan Johnson-Weinberger
Published April 24th 2003
In March, instant runoff voting implementation legislation passed a state house for the first time in at least a decade. It also won a plurality of votes in the state senate, but needed a majority of all potential votes to win.
Representative Horace Hardwick (R-Bentonville) introduced HB 2485, which would implement the Louisiana-style instant runoff voting for overseas military voters casting an absentee ballot in local runoff elections. The bill would make voting easier for servicemen and women because they could vote in both the primary and the runoff election at one time, using a preferential ballot instead of finding the means to cast two separate absentee ballots while overseas.
The bill passed the House on an 89-1 vote (one voting present and 10 not voting) on March 20th. Senator Ed Wilkinson (D-Greenwood), a Navy veteran, picked up the bill in the Senate, and worked in two amendments, but ultimately the bill died on April 10th on a 15-10-9 vote (15 voting yes, 10 voting no and 9 voting present).