Make votes really count
Re "Instant runoffs might be fix for voter fatigue," June 11

Published June 15th 2007 in The Los Angeles Times

Based on the low turnout and high cost of the recent city runoff election — which involved only two school board seats and one community college position and cost taxpayers about $8 million — the Los Angeles Community College District has endorsed the concept of change in our electoral system. We have resolved to investigate instant-runoff voting and look forward to the City Council's deliberations on a proposal by Councilmen Eric Garcetti and Jose Huizar.

In San Francisco and other Bay Area cities, the instant runoff has proved effective for saving taxpayer dollars and increasing voter participation.


Eagle Rock

The writer is a trustee of the Los Angeles Community College District.

Thanks for the timely article. One clarification is needed: With instant-runoff voting, majority support for the winner is assured without a separate election.

Also, because voter turnout in the separate runoffs is usually less than in the primary, the majority support with an instant runoff would usually represent a majority of more voters.

The Los Angeles City Council should lead the way in the county by using an instant runoff to help fix the current system, which costs taxpayers and candidates too much and leaves voters tired and covering their ears.

With an instant runoff, voters simply rank the candidates, indicating who should get their vote if their favorite is eliminated, enabling instantaneous runoffs.

This system would take the nastiness out of campaigns because candidates would seek to get high rankings from their opponents' supporters.