Majority rule and genuine voter choice are marks of a functioning democracy. To support voter choice in high turnout elections, we act to encourage understanding, adoption and effective implementation of instant runoff voting, a ranked choice voting system used in a growing number of American elections.

Minnesota Supreme Court unanimously approves IRV as more cities debate it
The Minnesota Supreme Court on June 11 unanimously rejected legal arguments against Minneapolis's elections moving forward this November with instant runoff voting for mayor and city council and choice voting for  park board. FairVote Minnesota, an intervenor in the case,  said the Court has "blazed a path that every community in our state can follow toward better elections and a stronger democracy." Saint Paul and Duluth are also debating adoption of IRV.

Meanwhile top political leaders  in San Jose (CA) participated in the New America Foundation's June 11th forum on adopting IRV, the city council in Hoboken (NJ) passed a pro-IRV measure this month and three political scientists in Washington issued a report analyzing the November 2008 IRV elections in Pierce County. The latter report found that IRV "does an effective job of simulating both a primary and general in one election," while making it less costly to run -  only three of the six biggest spenders won.

United Kingdom May Adopt IRV for Next Year's Elections
British home secretary Alan Johnson and several other leaders of the United Kingdom's governing Labor Party are proposing instant runoff voting for elections to its House of Commons, potentially augmented with proportional voting. Seen by many as the heir apparent of the Labor Party, Johnson announced his support for a national referendum on adoption of the “Alternative Vote plus” electoral reform plan recommended in 1998 by a commission led by Lord Roy Jenkins. The alternative vote (the British term for IRV) would be used to elect most seats, with additional “top up” seats elected based on voters’ overall party preferences within regions. Not all Labor leaders support proportional voting, but there is a growing consensus to adopt IRV -- with some calling for its adoption in time for the general election next year.

Update: The debate over electoral reform in the UK has gone all the way to the top, as Prime Minister Gordon Brown took to the House of Commons to set forth a long list of political reforms, including his intention to offer proposals for changes to the electoral system -- discussions of which are believed by many analysts to include the measures mentioned above such as IRV.

[Rob Richie's link-filled blog on British news]
[Jenkins Commission Report]
[British Electoral Reform Society]
[VoteForChange - Coalition backing a national referendum]

Pro-IRV Op-eds by:

Minnesota Supreme Court Hears Ranked Choice Voting Case
Case Will Determine Whether Minneapolis Can Use Method
Minnesota Judicial CenterOn May 13th, the Minnesota Supreme Court started hearing arguments in the case of Minnesota Voters Alliance v. The City of Minneapolis and FairVote Minnesota. The ruling will determine whether or not instant runoff voting and choice voting are legal under the Minnesota Constitution. The case was initially rejected by the Hennepin County District Court in a January 14th ruling, but the Minnesota Voters Alliance decided to appeal the ruling. The court declared that the plaintiffs had "failed to demonstrate that IRV is either unconstitutional or contrary to public policy."

Minneapolis voters originally passed ranked choice voting in a ballot initiative in 2006 by 65% of the vote. The city has asked the Minnesota Supreme Court to make its ruling by June 11, so that it will know whether or not it will be able to use the system for its November elections.


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Recent Articles
October 30th 2009
Don Fraser and George Latimer: The case for instant-runoff voting is clear
Star Tribune

Two former politicians tell St. Paul voters that IRV is "vitally important to us as citizens and as members of our communities."

October 29th 2009
Plurality voting rule is the real election spoiler
Baltimore Sun

In the midst of 3-way races in NJ and NY, FairVote board member and 1980 presidential candidate John Anderson makes the case for IRV over our flawed plurality system.

October 25th 2009
CHARTER AMENDMENT 3: County voters would lose power
The News Tribune

Amendment 3 to the Pierce county charter is an attempt by incumbent politicians to rig the system and prevent any serious challengers from competing. IRV is simply too fair and too democratic to not keep using in our electoral system.

October 22nd 2009
St. Paul should join IRV bandwagon
Star Tribune

Star Tribune stands behind IRV voting. They believe that if this system is used in St. Paul, it will show the state of Missouri that IRV can work and can better represent the voters in the state.