Presidential Frontrunners Support Instant Runoff Voting
Boosts new campaign in Santa Fe and state legislation
The two frontrunners for their party's nominations, Republican John McCain and Democrat Barack Obama, are both active backers of instant runoff voting (IRV). In 2002, Sen. McCain recorded a message for backers of IRV in Alaska, while that year Sen. Obama was the lead sponsor of legislation to implement IRV for certain Illinois elections. With most third party candidates also supporting IRV, we may see a rare issue of consensus this November, although neither McCain nor Obama have yet secured their party's nomination.
In the states, instant runoff voting appears next on the ballot in Santa Fe (NM), where it has the backing of the mayor, local newspapers and key community leaders. It also is advancing legislatively in states like Vermont.
[Senator John McCain's message on IRV]
[Sen. Barack Obama's state legislative proposal on IRV]
[Santa Fe Website] and [local backer Voting Matter]
[Vermont Public Radio's February 19th debate on IRV]
Big Week for IRV
Three Legislative Advances and an Important Endorsement
The week of May 7th, 2007, was a big week for IRV across the country. The Illinois Senate approved legislation that would adopt ranked ballots for military and overseas voters. The Vermont House Government Operations Committee approved a bill, already approved by the Senate, to adopt IRV for U.S. Senate and House races in Vermont. In California, the Assembly Appropriations Committee approved legislation that would give local governments the option of using IRV.
In other exciting news, former Illinois congressman John Porter of the Brookings Institution's Opportunity '08 project released a position paper promoting IRV as a means to encourage voter participation.
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.
The bill now moves to the House, where companion legislation was introduced earlier this session with 49 sponsors.