14. IRV and polling place efficiency
As in the election of 1892, when Vermont first used the Australian ballot, it is reasonable to expect it will take some voters longer to mark a preference ballot for the first time. Of course, as long as voters understand that choosing alternate candidates is merely an option, rather than a requirement, this shouldn’t be a significant concern. Indeed, some voters will be able to mark their ballots faster as they no longer need to stand with their pencil poised as they wrestle with their conscience about whether to vote for their favorite candidate or the "lesser-of-two-evils" candidate.
Other reforms, not currently being examined by this Commission, could further speed up the balloting process. Oregon has led the way in this country in the use of mail ballots. The concept of a voting day is being replaced with a voting deadline. Ballots are mailed to qualified voters who can fill them out in the privacy of their homes and either mail them back or bring them in to the polls on the deadline day. In some ways, this is akin to a return to the voting efficiency of pre-1892 Vermont, when no voting booths were even needed.