It could be the tool that we need to create a government we can all be proud of.
By Editorial Board
Published October 31st 2006 in Minnesota Daily
On Nov. 7, Minnesota citizens will have the opportunity to cast their vote to elect new government officials. Additionally, Minneapolis residents will have the chance to change the process by which city officials are elected. If the Instant Runoff Voting amendment is passed, it will lower costs of elections and campaigning and, perhaps most importantly, will allow voters the freedom to vote for the candidate that they feel will best serve their interests.
This election in particular has become a sword fight between Republicans and Democrats, making it hard for voters to choose third-party candidates. Under the current plurality election system, winners are determined by whoever gets the most votes. This makes many voters feel that if they vote for a third party, they will be taking votes away from either the Republican or Democratic candidate, thus, "throwing away their votes."
With Instant Runoff Voting, a single vote is given maximum potential. Under this system, the primary election that weeds out many third party candidates is eliminated. This means there are more choices on the ballot on Election Day and more of a chance that one candidate's ideas line up with a particular voter. Second, on election day, each voter is given the opportunity to rank all of the candidates that appear on the ballot. Votes are counted in order to see if one candidate received a majority. If no candidate has received 50 percent of the votes plus one, the candidate in last place is eliminated and those votes are given to their second choice or rank. This process repeats until one candidate has a majority.
With Instant Runoff Voting, election and campaign costs will decrease due to the single round of voting in the elimination of the primary. Voters will be given more candidate choices and the potential of their vote will increase.
Instant Runoff Voting is a method that we feel should be implimented in statewide, even national, elections. It could be the tool that we need to create a government we can all be proud of.