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Presidential Candidate Howard Dean Touts Instant Runoff Voting on CNN's "NewsNight" and NPR's "All Things Considered" and Suppports National Reform Commission

November 12, 2003

Former Vermont Governor Howard Dean has long supported instant runoff voting, which has been a popular issue in his home state. Dr. Dean has referenced IRV frequently during his presidential campaign. On Nov. 12, 2003, he spoke about IRV on CNN.

The following was reported in the Hotline, a well-read political insiders' publication of the National Journal.

"If I could do anything I wanted and have campaign finance reform, here's what I would do. I would have small donations allowed, $100 or less. I would have public financing of everybody's campaign. And I would limit people's spending, so nobody could go outside the public financing system. And I would have instant run-off voting, so, when you had more candidates than just two, the person with a majority of votes would win. Now, that's what I would like to do. I believe in campaign finance reform. But I don't believe in campaign finance reform that gives a significant advantage to the Republican Party. And that's what we have now" ("NewsNight," CNN, 11/12).

Dr. Dean's November 12th CNN interview is also available as an mp3. In addition, he spoke about IRV -- here called "runoff voting" -- in a November 8th interview on National Public Radio's "All Things Considered."

Dr. Dean frequently mentions IRV when asked about campaign finance reform. For example, at the Linn County Iowa Democratic Fundraising Dinner on January 18, 2003 that was carried on CSPAN, Dr. Dean said:

"If you want real campaign finance reform, here's what you've got to do, and you have to do all three at once. You have to do public financing of campaigns, you have to have instant runoff voting, so Ralph Nader doesn't take the election away from Al Gore, although we know it was really the Supreme Court that did that, and you've got to have either a constitutional amendment or a better court that will say free speech and political contributions are not the same thing. We can do better than the FEC is doing right now, which is busy gutting McCain/Feingold, which a lot of people right here worked very hard for."

On the Dean campaign website, his page on campaign reform concludes with this proposal:

"A National Commission to Strengthen American Democracy. There are many other important ideas to explore. I would establish a commission of ordinary Americans -- not politicians -- to consider such cutting edge ideas as instant runoff voting, Internet voting, nonpartisan primaries, an Election Day holiday and abolition of the Electoral College. American patriots established our democracy and American patriots can reinvigorate it."


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