Yes On Three

Amendment 3 is a step in the right direction

Published: October 15th, 2006 in The News Tribune (Tacoma, WA)

Peter Callaghan's casual dismissal of Pierce County Charter Amendment 3 in his Oct. 5 column was troubling on several levels.

First, the instant runoff voting system that the amendment will institute simply is not that complicated. Voters would have the opportunity to rank all the candidates in order of preference. Votes are then tallied; the candidate with the least votes is dropped from the running. The votes are recounted and ballots that had previously been tallied for the candidate who was dropped go to their second choice. This process is repeated until one candidate gets a majority of the votes.

Most voters in San Francisco and Burlington, Vt., seem to understand the process just fine. Ninety-nine percent of ballots cast in IRV elections in those cities were filled out properly. The success rate in our pick-a-party primary was less than 90 percent.

While it's true that Amendment 3 would only affect most Pierce County races, it is at least a first step toward eliminating the pick-a-party primary statewide. It might not be able to fix our political system overnight, but it is certainly a step in the right direction.











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