13. IRV treats all voters equally and does not give extra clout to some


When the procedure of IRV is described, some people figure that the supporters of the fringe candidates (those with the fewest votes) are getting two votes while supporters of the top candidates get only one vote. This is not true. Every voter has exactly the same clout with IRV. If there is no majority winner, the supporters of fringe candidates have their candidate eliminated while the supporters of major candidates get to keep their candidates in the running. While the bottom candidatesí voters have their ballots transferred to their second choices and counted a second time, the voters who favored the top candidates get to have their ballots remain with their favorite candidates and also counted again. This is the same logic that is used in a regular runoff. In a regular runoff, it is those voters whose favorite candidate is out of the running that decide the outcome.

Another related confusion has to do with the notion that if low-ranking candidates were dropped in some different order, their ballot transfers could produce a different winner. This is not true. If the transfers from the bottom candidate(s) reveal a majority for a particular one of the top candidates, then it is a mathematical truism that no other candidate could have a majority (unless you had a perverse rule that eliminated one of the top two candidates first).