IRV eliminates need for runoff elections

By Anthony Lorenzo
Published October 25th 2007 in Pelican Press
After watching my community of Sarasota County adopt the election reforms to ensure safer, more secure elections, I can truly say I am a proud resident of Sarasota County. When 55 percent of voters adopted the changes prior to actually seeing their machines lose votes, Sarasota voters took a giant step toward greater security, pushing the election security envelope further than any other community in the state.

And on Nov. 6, City of Sarasota voters will again be asked to adopt instant runoff voting on the ballot as Question number 2.

Instant runoff voting is a method whereby voters can rank candidates in order of preference: It is as easy as 1, 2, 3! IRV eliminates the need for a second runoff election (which costs the city $37,000 each, citywide) while still determining a majority winner. Candidates and voters save time by not having to vote twice in two seperate elections.

IRV is supported locally by the Sarasota Green Party, the Sarasota Libertarian Party, the New College Democrats, the League of Women Voters of Florida, Common Cause of Florida, the Pelican Press, the Bradenton Herald, the St. Petersburg Times, the Tampa Tribune, and Florida PIRG.

Not only does IRV make elections more efficient both in costs and time, it also has a reducing effect on negative campaigning. Because candidates also need second and third choice support from their opponents' supporters, they are reluctant in an IRV system to attack each other and alienate each other's supporters. Nothing has demonstrated this effect as well as IRV.

Please contact the Supervisor of Elections Office and request an absentee ballot to ensure your vote is counted in this election. You can request a ballot by calling 861-8600. On the evening of Nov. 6, I look forward to having a few more reasons why I am proud to live in this community.