voting is better
While voting reforms
suggested by Secretary of State Sam Reed and some lawmakers might
have accelerated the counting of ballots, they would have done
nothing to alter the following fact about the gubernatorial race:
The winner will not have a majority of the votes. In other words, it
is possible that a majority of the voters would prefer the losing
Instant Runoff Voting is
better than our plurality voting system because it ensures majority
winners. With IRV, the voters can rank the candidates on the ballot.
If no candidate receives a
majority of first-place votes, then the last-place candidate is
eliminated and the second choices are counted. In Washington state's
gubernatorial race, Ruth Bennett (who supports IRV) would have been
eliminated and her voters could have selected either Gregoire or
Rossi as their second preference. The 63,000 votes for Bennett would
have been distributed to Gregoire and Rossi based on the voters'
preferences on the ballots.
In this way, either
Gregoire or Rossi would probably have received a majority.
When our lawmakers get to
work on electoral reform, I hope they remember that, in a democracy,
majority rule is more important than the deadline for absentee