Vote YES! on Memphis Charter Amendment 5 - Instant Runoff Voting


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Why Support Memphis Charter Amendment 5?

Vote YES! on Charter Amendment 5

Charter Amendment 5 would bring instant runoff voting to Memphis elections.

Instant runoff voting (IRV) enhances democracy for Memphis:
  • Fewer Elections: IRV allows primaries or runoffs to be held at the same time as general elections, thereby reducing the number of elections voters must turnout for
  • Positive Campaigning: IRV encourages positive, more issue-based campaigns, as candidates will have incentives to reach out to their opponents supporters
  • More Choices: IRV solves the "spoiler" problem in elections, thereby allowing for candidates to run without fear of electing their polar opposites
  • Greater Voter Participation: IRV means higher voter turnout in elections that matter, since voters are asked to turnout for fewer elections with more choices
Exit Poll Surveys Show Voters Like Instant Runoff Voting:

Exit polls have been done in every American city where voters that used instant runoff voting (IRV) for the first time in 2004-2007. These elections were:
  • San Francisco, California First used in November 2004 in elections for city council
  • Burlington, Vermont: First used in March 2006 in elections for mayor
  • Takoma Park, Maryland: First used in January 2007 in electing a city council vacancy
  • Cary, North Carolina: First used in October 2007 in elections for city council and mayor
  • Hendersonville, North Carolina: First used in November 2007 in elections for city council
The following chart provides a summary of exit surveys showing that voters both understand and like instant runoff voting by overwhelming numbers.

JurisdictionUnderstand IRV well or fairly wellPrefer IRV to city's prior system to IRV2
Knew how to rank candidates before coming to vote
San Francisco1
Takoma Park

  1. Subsequent surveys in San Francisco in 2005 and 2006 showed continued high levels of support
  2. Some voters had no opinion. Percentages of those expressing support for IRV over old system were: San Francisco (61%), Burlington (63%), Takoma Park (89%), Cary (68%) and Hendersonville (67%).
  3. Measures voters who did not find the ballot confusing
  4. 76% said would like IRV for all local and state elections; an additional 13% support it for local elections

Exit poll survey sources:

San Francisco, CA

Burlington VT
Takoma Park, MD

Cary and Hendersonville, NC


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