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New Report Touts Potential of Instant Runoff Voting

June 16, 2003

On May 15, 2003 the Metropolitan College of New York, joined by the sponsoring organizations the Century Foundation, Center for Urban Research for Public Policy and Lewis Mumford Center for Comparative Urban and Regional Research, issued a report on "People and Poliics in America's Big Cities: A Critical Conversation about the Implications of the Profound Demographic Transformation Now Underway in our City." Authored by John Logan of the Mumford Center and John Mollenkopf of the Cente for Urban Research, the report provides several recommendations for how to close the widening representation gap in America's increasingly diverse urban areas.

Among the recommendations are several involving the electoral process. One recommendation is in support of instant runoff voting. They write "New York City also provides many examples from 2001 in which a white or native minority candidate with better funding and organizational support was able to edge out immigrant minority candidates who split the district's immigrant voting base several different ways. In Los Angeles, if no candidates wins a majority, the two top candidates proceed to a runoff in the general election. New York City may with to reconsider allowing candidates to win primaries by a simple plurality. A system of 'instant runoff' voting would enable new immigrant votes to transfer their voting strengthe from one immigrant minority candidates to another, thus increasing their ability to elect a candidate of their choosing."

Other parts of the report implicitly suggest the value of full representation voting methods that allow for differences among voters to be represented even when racial and ethnic groups live amongst one another rather than in segregated housing patters. You can read the report on-line at

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