15. IRV will not generally delay election results

Since it is not being proposed that Vermont poll workers perform the transfers and re-tabulations on election night, the concern is that the public will be upset with a new delay in getting results. The IRV retabulations would be carried out by a court-appointed recount committee at least a couple of weeks after the election day. However, in fact, the same amount of information, first-choice results, will be available just as quickly as under the existing system. In races where there is a majority winner, IRV will not change the reporting time at all. In statewide races, where no majority is achieved by any candidate, IRV can provide new information that remains undiscovered with our current system -- that is, which of the candidates a majority of voters actually prefer. In an age of instant gratification, some may argue that it is better to pick the plurality candidate and declare that person elected quickly than to worry about which candidate the majority of voters would have picked.

While technically there is no winner for any constitutional offices until the General Assembly convenes almost two months later, since only the General Assembly can certify a winner, as a practical matter, unless there is a recount, the winner in majority races is generally "known" the next day. However, in the case of Governor, Lieutenant Governor and Treasurer, when there is no majority winner, under our existing system the result is genuinely not known until January when the General Assembly votes by secret ballot. IRV would not change the constitutional fact that the winner is not official until January. As a practical matter, however, IRV will allow the voters and the members of the General Assembly to know if there is a candidate a majority of voters prefer, and thus which candidate will be declared elected, more than a month quicker than under existing law.