Ten Things You Can Do To Help Promote Instant Runoff Voting

by Lou Traxel, [email protected]
January 2001

  1. Call, write or email your state legislators and your Members of Congress about instant runoff voting legislation. They can sponsor existing legislation -- see our page on pending legislation, or introduce a version of a bill from another state.
  2. Ask to speak at your next city council meeting and encourage them to use IRV. Explain why we need a new voting system, how IRV works, and why it would solve so many problems. Consider bringing different types of cookies or other snacks with pre-printed IRV ballots and have a sample election to determine everyone's favorite.
  3. Get involved with your local public high school through a Social Studies teacher and arrange to speak to the students about IRV either in class or after school. Promote IRV for use in student elections. High school students are our next generation of voters, so educating them on the issue is extremely important.
  4. Encourage organizations that you are involved with to use IRV for their own internal elections. The more people use IRV, the more familiar they will become with it. Eventually, they will demand to have it implemented at all levels of government.
  5. Write a letter to a sympathetic editor at your local newspaper, and persuade him or her to write an opinion/editorial piece promoting IRV. This is a good way to keep the issue in the public eye.
  6. Host a house party around a theme to use and teach others about IRV. Some examples include a movie party where the guests vote for which movie to watch, or a wine- or beer-tasting party where the guests sample various drinks and vote for their favorite. Have pre-printed ballots for everyone to fill out to show them how easy it really is.
  7. Consider running for office. People are much more likely to listen to you when you talk about policy issues if they know you are serious about it.
  8. Set up a booth at your local art show or farmers market to promote IRV. Be sure to have plenty of merchandise such as T-shirts, buttons, bumper stickers, brochures, pens, and coffee mugs. To order the merchandise, contact the Center for Voting and Democracy at www.fairvote.org.
  9. Share audio or video tapes discussing IRV with your local public radio and television stations, and ask them to broadcast the information. Public stations are generally required to air information of interest to the public. For copies of these tapes, contact the Center for Voting and Democracy at www.fairvote.org.
  10. Join an IRV internet list serve to network with others and stay on top of what is going on with the movement nationally and in your state. Visit http://groups.yahoo.com/group/instantrunoff