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Adopting Fair Elections for
Student Governments

April 2004

More Wins for IRV


Over this past year more schools across implemented or voted to adopt IRV for their school elections.   Most recently, The University of Minnesota voted in IRV to be used next year.  Read coverage about the adoption.  The University of California at Davis (UCD) used IRV for the first time this year with huge success.  The UCD Greens released a report documenting the development of Choice Voting at UCD.

IRV will be adopted next year at the University of California at San Diego, Sonoma State University, Macalaster College, and Duke.


See a sample motion to introduce IRV and Choice Voting at your school.



Big Wins!

Interest in fair elections systems for student elections around the country has been gaining momentum. More and more schools are following the recommendations of Roberts Rules of Order and using instant runoff voting (also called "preferential voting") for single winner elections like student body president. And some schools have also added the choice voting method of full representation for their legislative elections. This has been evidenced by victories at several U.S. universities in 2003, including Tufts University and Wake Forest..  

Tufts University

On April 27 the Tufts student body approved a new constitution for the Tufts Community Union. IRV was included in the new version both for the presidential election and the internal election of committee chairs. Read the approved revisions to the constitution.

Wake Forest University

After an especially contentious delayed runoff election this spring, the WFUSG voted to adopt IRV for all executive elections at a meeting on April 28.

Building on our Success

Fair elections systems such as instant runoff voting and choice voting are especially suited to student government elections because of the diverse voting population and the high possibility for three or more candidates. The Center for Voting and Democracy, as the nation���s leading advocate of these reforms is interested in improving student government elections for all students. This site will provide an introduction to possible reforms and why they fit into the student government format.

In addition, we are currently compiling a list of Student Governments that engage in some kind of fair elections method.  This list will serve as a clearinghouse of examples for other schools to follow. Some schools currently use only IRV or only Choice Voting, and some use both. We have separated the site into two sections.

Schools with Instant Runoff Voting

Schools with Choice Voting

These lists are not complete however, so please notify us at [email protected] if you know of any schools not on our list that use fair elections voting methods. We have also collected a series of news articles related to fair elections in student government.

In addition to providing resources to students interested in fair elections at their schools, The Center for Voting and Democracy also has experience with the administration of elections at schools and for private companies and organizations.


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Copyright 2002     The Center for Voting and Democracy
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