Groups still calling for
By Wilson Ring
MONTPELIER -- The Vermont chapter of
the League of Women Voters and six other groups are renewing their
call for the Legislature to enact an instant runoff voting system
that would guarantee a clear winner in every election.
If such a system had been in place this year the Legislature
would not be required to elect the state's next governor and
lieutenant governor as it will do on Jan. 9.
"We can make democracy work better in Vermont than in any other
state," said Paul Burns, executive director of the Vermont Public
Interest Research Group, another of the groups calling for instant
runoff. "It will reduce cynicism."
The League, VPIRG and the other groups have banded together in a
group they have dubbed the "Voters Choice Coalition." They are
planning to present to lawmakers petitions asking for such a system.
They have already collected 300 signatures and are continuing their
For the past several years advocacy groups have asked the
Legislature to enact such a law, but none has received enough
support to become law.
The need for an instant runoff system was clear this year when
neither the governor nor lieutenant governor received the majority
of the votes needed to be elected. Neither Gov.-elect James Douglas
nor Lt. Gov.-elect Brian Dubie will be officially elected by the
Legislature until the day they take office.
Prior to the election there was some concern that a losing
candidate might not tell lawmakers to cast their secret ballots for
the highest vote getter, although it turned out the popular vote
losers have ended their campaigns.
"We were expecting to be in a state of confusion right now,"