Take Back America Conference, 2005
The Center for Voting and Democracy attended the annual "Take Back America Conference" this year to provide information on fair elections. This year our staff conducted two demonstration elections to illustrate the benefits of instant runoff voting (IRV).  The first demonstration asked voters to choose the 2008 Democratic presidential nominee, and the second asked them to select the most powerful conservative. John Edwards won the presidential nominee race and Dick Cheney was voted the most powerful conservative.

Attendees cast 39 legitimate ballots for the presidential nominee race and 24 ballots for most powerful conservative. Voters ranked their preferences for 10 listed candidates, and various write-ins of their choice.

The following graphs show each candidates' vote totals round by round. As the lowest vote getters are eliminated, their votes are redistributed to voters' auxilliary choices.

2008 Democratic presidential nominee race

Graph of votes for 2008 Democratic presidential nominee round by round.

Most powerful conservative race

Graph of votes for most powerful conservative by round.

The following files show the distribution of  voters' second choice preferences.

2008 Democratic presidential nominee

Most powerful conservative

IRV is a well-established voting system that makes sense for a range of elections. It is already used in Australia and Ireland to elect their legislators. IRV elects the mayor of London, and San Francisco is getting ready to use IRV in their citywide races in November. IRV is a sensible alternative to the current plurality voting system; it eliminates the spoiler problem, ensures that the winner of the election has a majority of the votes and inspires candidates to campaign to be the second choice of other candidates, resulting in less negative campaigns that demonstrate that politics can be a civil sport.