An alternative voting system

Published May 21st 2007 in Los Angeles Times
Re "No way to run an election," Opinion, May 17

Steven Hill and Lynn Serpe are right on with recommending ranked-choice voting. It's not just San Francisco but other countries, such as Ireland and Australia and increasingly Britain, successfully using it. Not only does it save money by eliminating the need for runoff elections, it captures the complexity of voter opinion. Voters can pick their first-choice candidate and party without fear because the whole concept of a "spoiler" is eliminated in that system.

We should also adopt this model for state and federal elections. Our Legislature could have 40 districts, each electing one senator and four Assembly members in a multi-member district to create a form of proportional representation. Nothing would transform our democracy for the better more than opening up our electoral system to other parties and voices. Initiatives proposing this fairer type of voting are a true grass-roots effort to create a better democracy for Los Angeles and all of California.

DAN WENTZEL Santa Monica