'Instant runoff voting' would promote democracy in state

By Jeffry Larson
Published January 3rd 2003 in New Haven Register
Since the state has a task force considering the reform of primary elections, its members should consider measures that go beyond the number of delegates or petition signatures that are required to get on the ballot.

One important way to increase democracy would be to have instant runoff voting, or IRV. This simple system ensures that a winning candidate will receive a majority of votes rather than a simple plurality.

IRV eliminates the need for runoff elections by allowing voters to rank their candidates in order of preference. It guarantees that a voter's favorite candidate will not "spoil" the winning chances of his or her No. 2 candidate.

Such a system would be ideal for primary elections. After proving its success in the primaries, IRV could be introduced into the general election as well.

If the leadership of the two major political parties wanted to promote democracy in Connecticut, they would adopt instant runoff voting.

Jeffry Larson