In 2001, the Utah Republican Party adopted instant runoff voting (IRV) for elections that take place at its state conventions. Several counties also use IRV at their county conventions. The party uses IRV to elect officers and to nominate candidates -- candidates can win outright at the convention or, if neither of the final two candidates has 60% support, advance to a runoff primary.
IRV was used to nominate congressional candidates in 2002. By 2003, it was used to elect party officers, and, in 2004, it will be used for elections of the governor (an open seat), U.S. senators and representatives, attorney general, national committeeman and national committee woman.
Prior to 2002, the party used a multiple-round ballot system that often took many hours and resulted in decreases in voter turnout before the decisive election -- a problem encountered by many parties and organizations that hold repeated balloting for elections during their conventions.
Below are some links pertaining to IRV in Utah:
Post-convention coverage and analysis:
- Analysts contend that moderates, not extremists, won out in the convention's IRV elections. (May 12, 2004)
- Utah Republicans narrowed the governor's race from eight candidates to two using instant runoff voting on May 8. (May 10, 2004)
- Utah GOP selected congressional nominees using IRV. (May 10, 2004)
- Election results from the official Utah GOP website. (May 10, 2004)
- GOP gubernatorial hopefuls gear up for a close, competitive party nomination process. (May 4, 2004)
- Salt Lake Tribune column touting benefits of IRV for GOP convention and other elections. (04/04).
- Local newspaper commentary explores advantages of IRV for the party that uses it. (04/04).
- Republican straw poll may presage convention IRV results (04/04).
- Utah Attorney General Endorses Instant Runoff Voting (12/02).
- Results from Utah Republican convention elections: 2001, 2002, 2003.
- Round-by-round instant runoff voting election for the second congressional district nomination at the May 2002 state party convention -- note high number of effective ballots (.pdf file).