April 26, 2007
Instant Runoff Voting (IRV) passes Vermont Senate
::::::::Bill would implement new voting method for congressional races
MONTPELIER, VT - By a vote of 16 to 12, the Vermont State Senate today approved a bill to implement a new voting method, instant runoff voting (IRV). IRV will only be used in U.S. House and U.S. Senate races. In 2008, IRV would only apply to the House race.
IRV is a majority voting system that does everything a traditional runoff system does to ensure the winner of an election has popular support – but in 1 election rather than 2. IRV combines the 1st and 2nd rounds of a runoff into one efficient election by enabling voters to rank candidates in order of preference. If there is no majority winner, then an instant runoff will be conducted. Only the top two vote getters will advance.
The instant runoff will be conducted at regional voting centers, supervised by the Secretary of State, in consultation with town clerks and boards of civil authority.
The benefits of IRV include
* Elects majority winners, which protects democracy and reflects the values of Vermont's constitutional framers
IRV is easy for voters. They can mark their ballots just as they always have in the past and can choose to pick only one candidate or rank up to 5. If no candidate wins a majority of first choices, the top 2 candidates advance to an instant runoff. If a voter's first choice is eliminated, the ballot is counted for that voter's next top choice.
Submitter: Rob Richie
Submitters Website: www.fairvote.org
FairVote is a non-profit, non-partisan organization devoted to electoral reforms that respect every vote and ever voice. Signature proposals we have developed or advanced include proportional voting, instant runoff voting, ranked choice voting, the National Popular Vote plan for president, universal voter registration and a constitutional right to vote. Its executive director is Rob Richie and its board chair is Krist Novoselic.