Howard Dean Continues to Support IRV
Dean Discusses IRV on Vermont Radio's Mark Johnson Show
Howard DeanOn March 16th, Former Vermont Governor and Democratic National Committee Chair Howard Dean continued his support for instant runoff voting on Vermont Radio's Mark Johnson Show. Commenting on Burlington's recent IRV election, Dean said "I think the best and most democratic way to use to elect people in multiparty elections is instant runoff voting." Dean also supported the system when it was first used in Burlington in 2006.

Dean is part of a growing list of prominent politicians who have shown support for the system, including President Barack Obama, United States Senators John McCain and Bernie Sanders, U.S. Congressmen Dennis Kucinich and Peter Welch, and former U.S. Congressman John Porter.


Burlington's Second IRV Election a Success
Incumbent Kiss Wins Reelection in Third IRV Round
Burlington City HallCitizens of Burlington, Vermont went to the polls on Tuesday, March 3rd to vote for the second time in an election using instant runoff voting. At 8:25 PM, the city declared that incumbent Mayor Bob Kiss had won reelection in the third and final round of counting, narrowly edging out challenger Kurt Wright, 51.5% to 48.5%. The race was unique in that it had four candidates that had a legitimate shot at winning: Progressive Kiss, Republican Wright, Democrat Andy Montroll, and independent Dan Smith. In most other American cities, there would be fear of "spoiler" candidates, but IRV allowed all four candidates to run without having to worry about being labeled "spoilers."

IRV is also credited for making the race one of the more civil that Burlington has seen, as candidates were hesitant to attack one another for fear of losing their opponents' second choice support.  Democratic City Councilman Bill Keogh was quoted as saying the race was "the most respectful and informative campaign in Burlington in a long time."


Governors Split on Advancing Our Elections
IL governor signs National Popular Vote, VT governor vetoes majority voting
On April 4, Vermont governor Jim Douglas chose to veto legislation to re-establish majority elections for Congress in his state through instant runoff voting. Vermont would have been the first state to enact IRV for Congress; legislative leaders affirmed their commitment to the bill, and it is sure to move in the state again. FairVote has worked hard to support this legislation, which likely generated more than 600 phone calls to the governor from Vermonters.

On April 7, Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich signed legislation entering Illinois into the National Popular Vote plan for president. The NPV plan now has states making up more than a sixth of what it will take for the plan to go into affect. It also has passed fully a sixth of our nation's state legislative chambers, including most recently in Maine, Vermont and Hawaii.

[AP/Boston Globe Article on the Veto]
[Vermont Public Radio on the Veto]
[Brattleboro Reformer Editorial]
[More on IRV in Vermont]
[National Popular Vote Plan]
[FairVote's Presidential Elections Page]
[Hendrik Hertzberg rips Gov. Douglas in his blog ]

[ Next ]  
Zuckerman Bows Out of House Race; Criticizes Voting By Fear

By Terri Hallenbeck
Published February 16th 2006 in Burlington Free Press
Zuckerman bows out of House race; criticizes voting by fear

By Terri Hallenbeck
Free Press Staff Writer

February 16, 2006
MONTPELIER -- The baby, the farm and his Statehouse duties were factors, but when it came down to it, Progressive Rep. David Zuckerman said he was bowing out of the U.S. House race because too many people will cast their vote out of fear rather than hope.

Zuckerman, 34, of Burlington announced Wednesday that he will not run for the state's lone seat in the U.S. House. He had established an exploratory committee in November.

He said many people told him they support his policies, but too many also said they wouldn't be able to vote for him in November out of fear that the liberal third-party candidate would split votes with the Democratic candidate and hand the race to a Republican.

"Many said they would rather vote for their hope than their fears, but that in this race, at this time, they could not," Zuckerman said. "That would be hard to overcome."

With his wife, Rachel Nevitt, and 9-week-old daughter, Addie, by his side, Zuckerman said that instead of running for Congress he will focus on his family, the organic farm he runs in Burlington, his legislative duties and making changes to a voting system that favors the two-party system.

He said he supports the instant runoff voting system the city of Burlington will debut in March, which allows voters to rank candidates.

His decision not to run for Congress was a relief to Democrat Peter Welch, who no longer faces the prospects of sharing votes on the left side of the political spectrum with Zuckerman.

"It's very good news," said Welch, leader of the state Senate from Windsor County. "We must be united to win."

Zuckerman did not endorse Welch or any other candidate in the race. He indicated that other third-party candidates might be interested in running.

Zuckerman said Welch made it clear to him he did not want the Progressive to run: "Absolutely. He felt it would be more difficult to win if I was in the race."

Rep. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., who is vacating the House seat to run for U.S. Senate and is the dean of the state's political progressives, has endorsed Welch. Sanders also encouraged Zuckerman not to run.

Three Republicans are seeking the seat: Martha Rainville, retiring adjutant general of the Vermont National Guard; state Sen. Mark Shepard of Bennington; and retired businessman Dennis Morrisseau of West Pawlet.
Contact Terri Hallenbeck at 229-9141 or [email protected]

Campaign Resources from the Successful IRV Campaign in Burlington, VT
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