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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

IRV vs. Minnesota Voter Alliance

Category: IRV Voting
Posted: 12/20/07 16:49

by Dave Mindeman

Minneapolis voters approved IRV voting in municipal elections some time ago -- and it was a significant majority. Yet, we have a group filing a lawsuit to block it.

The Minnesota Voter Alliance is the organization behind the lawsuit. This group has another favorite issue.... political party endorsement of judges. The latter issue is heavily favored by the Republican party.... so it doesn't take a lot of dot connection to make a similar assumption about whose funding and encouraging the MN Voter Alliance.

They are claiming that IRV is not constitutional. Alright, fair enough..argue that on the merits. But I take issue with some of the other criticisms, such as:

Opponents say the instant-runoff system is confusing, open to manipulation and depresses turnout.

You get a ballot, you rank the candidates in order of preference. How confusing can that be? Open to manipulation? Frankly, I am more worried about computer voting scams than I am about any manipulation of IRV. And finally, depresses turnout? How in the world do they make that correlation? Are people going to stay away from the polls because they may be asked to make more than one check mark?

IRV has the voter rank the candidates. If you get no candidate with more than 50% of the first choice votes, you eliminate the last place candidate and add the second choice of those voters to the totals. That process continues until you have a 50% majority candidate.

That is not confusion or manipulation or voter apathy.... that is voter empowerment.

Let the courts decide its constituionality on the merits, but don't tag IRV as anything other than an improvement in voter participation.
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