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Making Organizational Endorsements for an Instant Runoff Election

May 2003

Please feel free to contact us at 415-824-2735 if you would like to discuss how your organization should make endorsements for the November 2003 election.

[This document can be downloaded as a Word document or a .pdf file.

Some considerations

  • Voters get to indicate a 1st choice, a 2nd choice and a 3rd choice

  • Voters are not required to list 3 choices, but their vote is more likely to count for a winner if they use all 3 choices.

  • Organizations may wish to endorse more than one candidate. They may wish to endorse a slate consisting of a 1st choice, a 2nd choice and a 3rd choice.

  • There are several ways an organization can come up with a ranked endorsement.

  • An organizationĺ─˘s 1st choice ranking is the most important one. You can always use your current endorsement process to make the 1st choice and then conduct another process to extend your endorsement to 2nd and 3rd choices.

Making organizational endorsements: Four methods

1. A motion to endorse

The simplest method of making a ranked endorsement is for a member (or the PAC or endorsement committee) to make a motion: ĺ─˙I move the we endorse ____ as a 1st choice, ____ as a 2nd choice, and ___ as a 3rd choice.ĺ─¨ Then you follow your procedure for either accepting or rejecting this motion.

2. Use a ĺ─˙Vote for 1ĺ─¨ ballot to endorse the 1st choice

Voters fill out the ballot, you count up the votes for each choice, and see if anyone has enough to gain the endorsement. If necessary, you can hold a runoff between the top 2 options.

The winner is your organizationĺ─˘s 1st choice endorsement.

If you want, you can repeat the process for a 2nd and then a 3rd choice endorsement, or you can have members cast votes among a set of possible combinations of 2nd and 3rd choices.

Endorsement ballot (vote for 1)

INSTRUCTIONS: Place an ĺ─˙Xĺ─¨ next to the candidate or ĺ─˙no endorsementĺ─¨ you wish to vote for.


___ Pepperoni
___ Cheese
___ Green Pepper
___ Mushroom
___ No endorsement

3. Use a IRV ballot to endorse the 1st choice

Voters use IRV to pick their 1st choice. This is just like the previous method, except that you donĺ─˘t ever need to conduct a runoff if no candidate gets an outright endorsement.

After selecting the 1st choice endorsement, you can either repeat the process for 2nd and 3rd choices, or you can have members cast votes among a set of possible combinations of 2nd and 3rd choices.

Endorsement Ballot (Rank choices)

INSTRUCTIONS: Indicate your 1st choice, 2nd choice and so on. You may vote for as many or as few options as you like.

Options:  Pepperoni, Cheese, Green pepper, Mushroom, No Endorsement

1st Choice: _______________
2nd Choice: _______________
3rd Choice: _______________
4th Choice: _______________

4. Selecting among rankings

The final approach allows you to come up with 1st, 2nd and 3rd choice endorsements on a single ballot. You simply come up with a variety of possible rankings that reflect the interests in your club and then you use IRV to select the endorsement that has the most support in the club.

Endorsement ballot (Rank endorsements)

INSTRUCTIONS: Rank endorsement options in order of preference by writing ĺ─˛1ĺ─˘ next to your 1st choice, ĺ─˛2ĺ─˘ next to your 2nd choice, and so on. You may rank as many or as few candidates as you like. You can use ĺ─˙No endorsementĺ─¨ as one of your options.

Ranking Endorsement
______ 1. Pepperoni
______ 1. Cheese, 2. Pepperoni
______ 1. Cheese, 2. Mushroom
______ 1. Green Pepper, 2. Mushroom
______ 1. Green Pepper, 2. Mushroom, 3. Cheese 
______ 1. Mushroom, 2. Green Pepper
______ 1. Mushroom, 2. Green Pepper, 3. Cheese 
______ 1. No endorsement

For more assistance, please feel free to contact us at 415-824-2735.

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Copyright 2003     The Center for Voting and Democracy
6930 Carroll Ave. Suite 610, Takoma Park, MD 20912
(301) 270-4616