The Mac Weekly
Greens, Democrats support
April 16, 2003
By Andy Haug, Jesse Mortensen and
Last Tuesday, MCSG voted 22-0-2 to recommend a
constitutional change in the voting system. On April 16, students
will vote on whether to change the election procedure for President
and other Executive Committee positions to Instant Runoff Voting
currently use a system where the candidate with the highest number
of votes wins the office. This is problematic because if more than
two candidates run for the office it is likely that a candidate will
win without a majority of the votes.
IRV, voters rank candidates instead of choosing only one. You rank
as many candidates as you feel comfortable supporting, giving a "1"
to your first choice, a "2" to your second choice and so on. This
eliminates the concern about a "spoiler" factor. With IRV, voters
are free to support the candidate of their choice, and anyone is
free to run for office without worrying that he or she will "split
the vote." To the voter, IRV is a very simple process.
tabulation of IRV is where the ranking system becomes important. All
first-choice votes are counted and if any candidate has a majority a
winner is declared. If there is no clear majority, the candidate
receiving the fewest first-choice votes is eliminated and the votes
they received are transferred to the second choices marked on the
ballots. This process continues; the candidate with the smallest
total of votes is eliminated and those ballots are redistributed to
the next rankings. When a candidate earns a majority of the votes,
that person has won the election.
advantages of IRV are clear. In fact, both Australia and Carleton
College already practice this voting method. IRV helps to better
represent the student body by insuring that a candidate must have
majority support to win office. See www.fairvote.org for a more
MacGreens and the MacDems support this measure. Vote to change the
MCSG constitution for IRV on April 16.