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San Francisco Chronicle

"Instant runoff voting system passes test"
July 10, 2004
By Greg Lucas
The instant runoff voting system approved by San Francisco voters two years ago won approval by an independent testing agency last week, paving the way for the system's use in the November election.

Although state officials had certified the system for use in April, they imposed a number of conditions, among them passage of federally required testing.

Ranked-choice voting was adopted by San Francisco voters in 2002. It was supposed to be used in last fall's mayoral election, but the system had not received state or federal approval at the time.

Ranked choice or instant runoff voting eliminates San Francisco's December runoff by allowing voters to rank their top three choices.

If no candidate wins 50 percent of the vote on the first count, the bottom
candidate drops out and the votes are tallied until one candidate emerges
with 50 percent.

Mark Kyle, undersecretary of state, said California would amend San
Francisco's certification as early as Monday to reflect the successful
testing, and send official approval to the city shortly after that.

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