A different way to vote

By Alice Arkens
Published April 12th 2005 in Minnesota Daily
Last year, Tom Zearley won the Minnesota Student Association presidential election by a mere 22 percent, a number that is hardly a majority. I’m not basing Zearley, as he might be very deserving, but instead I would like to draw attention to the way in which he was elected.

Most people are familiar with a ballot in which voters check a single box next to the name of their favored candidate, but there is another way of voting.

Instant runoff voting is a system in which voters rank their first three choices. If the first choice comes in last, that vote is then cast aside and the person’s second choice is counted. This continues to the third round when one candidate will end up with at least 50 percent of the votes. This eliminates the fear of “wasted” votes. No matter how unpopular one’s first choice is, at least the second or third can still have a chance of being counted.

Last year, instant runoff voting passed all campus elections with a whopping 76 percent in favor. But because of bureaucratic difficulties and many headaches, it must be voted for again. Elections will be held Wednesday and Thursday, so vote for instant runoff voting.