The bill now moves to the House, where companion legislation was introduced earlier this session with 49 sponsors.
Vermont Senate Passes IRV
Bill Would Implement IRV for 2008 Congressional Election
On April 26th, 2007, the Vermont Senate approved legislation that would implement IRV for congressional elections beginning in 2008. This legislation generated strong support from U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, U.S. Rep. Peter Welch and the League of Women Voters of Vermont. IRV has a strong history of support in Vermont including endorsement resolutions from many towns as well as an endorsement from former governor Howard Dean.
Vermont State House and Senate Pass IRV Study Bill
Implementation of instant runoff voting one step closer in Vermont
On Wednesday, May 10, the Vermont State House voted in favor of a bill to study implementation of instant runoff voting (IRV) on the statewide level by 2008. The State Senate passed the measure on April 28.
The bill, backed by both the Senate Majority Leader and Speaker of the House, directs the Secretary of State to draw up the procedures for implementing IRV for statewide elections, including for members of Congress.
IRV has support from all elements of Vermont's civic community, including the League of Women Voters, Vermont PRG, Common Cause, the Grange, and Secretary of State Deb Markowitz.
[ FairVote Press Release ]
[ More on IRV in Vermont ]
[ Commentary by a VT Democratic candidate for governor ]
Burlington Holds "Flawless" IRV Election
On Tuesday March 7, Burlington, VT became the first city in the U.S. in over 30 years to elect its mayor using instant runoff voting (IRV) in what Vermont media termed a "flawless" election. In addition, FairVote's Caleb Kleppner has written a report on the Burlington election, the links can be found below.
After the first round of counting, no candidate garnered the required majority to win outright. Progressive candidate Bob Kiss received 39% of first choices, Democrat Hinda Miller 31%, and Republican Kevin Curley 26%. At this point an instant runoff kicked in. Curley and two other independent candidates were eliminated and their supporters' second choices counted. This gave Kiss enough votes to cross the majority threshold and win the race.
Voters found the system easy to use and understand, and almost no trouble with the balloting was reported. In fact, out of every 1,000 voters in the mayoral race, 999 cast a valid ballot. The Progressive Party has been active in Vermont politics for decades, and Burlington has elected several Progressive mayors in the past under the previous plurality system.
[ Read "IRV deemed a success" in the Burlington Free Press ]
[ Read an AP story on the election ]
[ More on IRV in Vermont ]
[ Read Caleb Kleppner's Report on Burlington's Election (.pdf/396 Kb) ]
[ Read Caleb Kleppner's Election Analysis (.xls/3.05 Mb) ]