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Utah Attorney General Endorses
Instant Runoff Voting

December 2002

Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff (R) released the following statement supporting instant runoff voting.  Shurtleff's support resulted from the successful use of instant runoff voting at three Republican conventions over 3 years.  At the Summit County convention in 2000, delegates nominated a county commissioner using IRV.  At the Utah Republican convention in 2001, over 1,000 delegates elected officers using IRV.  This year, at the state convention, over 3,000 delegates used IRV to nominate GOP candidates for US Congress. Click here to see the statement in pdf format.

Statement of Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff

To Whom It May Concern:

The Republican Party of Utah believes in majority rule. That's why we adopted instant runoff voting for party elections and U.S. Congressional nominations. We are also looking to adopt IRV for state elections. Whenever there are more than two candidates in a race, there is a risk that the majority of voters will split among two or more appealing candidates, leaving a candidate with only narrow support as the "top vote getter." The old "plurality winner" rules simply do not assure fair and representative winners. We took the advice of Robert's Rules of Order, which recommends instant runoff voting (called "preferential voting"), and have been very satisfied with the result. Some people expressed concern that it sounded complicated, but we discovered that voters had no difficulty with the rank-order ballots. Not only does it appear to be fair and accurate, but saves substantial time from the old multiple-ballot system, where delegates would leave between successive ballots.


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