November 30 2002
Instant Runoff Voting Would Help Ailing System
George Skelton is wrong in his Nov. 25 column, "Only
Fed-Up Voters Can Fix State's Damaged System for Picking
Legislators." He suggests having open, nonpartisan primaries, but
this wouldn't improve anything, especially because it would limit
the general election to only two candidates, among other things.
Instant runoff voting might help. Under this system,
votes are cast for the candidates in order of preference. So, if
your first choice is the Libertarian candidate, you mark him or her
as first choice. Mark your second choice accordingly and the same
with the rest. If no candidate receives a majority, the candidate
with the least votes is eliminated and his or her votes are
distributed to the remaining candidates according to the next choice
on those ballots. The winner is the candidate with the highest
preference by a majority of the voters.
This system would allow more participation in
elections for voters of all political ideologies. It makes much more
sense than meddling in the political parties' internal affairs using
open primaries or limiting the choice in the general election to two
candidates. Find out more about instant runoff voting at www.fairvote.org.