Adopting Fair Student Elections

Interest in fair elections systems for student elections around the country has been gaining momentum. More and more schools are following the recommendations of Robert's Rules of Order and adopting instant runoff voting (also called "preferential voting") for single winner elections like student body president. Additionally, some schools have added the choice voting method of full representation for their legislative elections. Georgetown University, University of California at San Diego, University of Iowa, North Carolina State University and Santa Fe Community College all adopted instant runoff voting over the two past academic years (Santa Fe Community College being the first community college to implement IRV).

The Spring 2008 student election season brought another successful round of instant runoff voting (IRV) elections, including the University of Iowa's highest turnout student election ever. Recent elections at Georgetown, MIT, CalTech, Harvard, Dartmouth, Cornell, Stanford, Princeton and many others and the implementation of IRV this year at some of the best universities of the country also showcase IRV's growing use on college campuses. Each time IRV has allowed better voter choice and wider voter participation by accommodating multiple candidates in single seat races and assuring that a "spoiler effect" will not result in undemocratic outcomes. IRV allows all voters to vote for their favorite candidate without fear of helping elect their least favorite candidate, and it ensures that the winner enjoys true support from a majority of the voters.

Not only are many colleges switching to IRV, already more than 50% of the nation's top thirty universities have adopted instant runoff voting and/or choice voting for student government elections on campus (based on rankings by U.S. News and World Report).

Note: If you know of any colleges or universities that use IRV that are not on our list, please send us a note at: irv(at)

NEW!!! [ List of colleges and universities using IRV ]

[ Student Election Resources ]

NEW!!! [Quotes From Student Leaders Supporting IRV]