Instant Runoff Voting: An Idea Whose Time Has Come

By Steve Chessin
Published November 28th 2002 in Business Week

There is a simple solution to both major parties' fear that third parties will "spoil" their elections: instant runoff voting ("The greens vs. the Dems: Another nightmare on Election Street?" Washington Outlook, Oct. 28). Instant runoff voting is used in Ireland (to elect the President), in Australia (to elect the House of Representatives), and in London (to elect the mayor), and it will be used for all San Francisco elections beginning in 2003. IRV is already used by absentee voters in Louisiana. Voters indicate their second choice at the same time as their first, and the winner must receive a majority of the vote.

Steve Chessin
Californians for Electoral Reform
Mountain View, Calif.