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New York Times

October 21, 2002

To the Editor:

"A Gray Future for California Voters," by Clancy Sigal (Op-Ed, Oct. 17), echoes many other contributors to the bitter debate between Democrats and Greens by ignoring the one reform that would end the need for this argument and make our elections more democratic. That reform is instant runoff voting, a system in which voters rank their candidates, allowing a No. 2 preference to be counted if a voter's No. 1 choice can't achieve a majority.

This eliminates the "spoiler" problem while still allowing voters to express their true choices, instead of being frightened into voting for a poor candidate just because a worse one might win.

Leftists, liberals and anyone else who loves democracy should concentrate on winning this reform rather than continuing the pointless bickering over who is more pure and who more pragmatic.

Jake Werner
Chicago, Oct. 17, 2002

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