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With city’s first ranked choice election coming up, St. Paul’s Greens endorse 3 candidates, work for more

From the Twin Cities Daily Planet (read the full thing here, there is a lot more information in the article itself):

The Green Party of St. Paul began a new effort to recruit candidates for upcoming 2011 local elections June 16, as candidates and around 40 supporters gathered to launch the effort dubbed Green St. Paul.The campaign is an attempt to change the party’s sporadic track record in local elections by recruiting candidates to run for local office, said Green St. Paul co-chair Roger Meyer…

The Green Party has officially endorsed three candidates in local races. Johnny Howard and Jim Ivey are running for St. Paul City Council seats in Wards 1 and 2, respectively, while Devin Miller is running for the St. Paul School Board…

Meyer said the recruitment campaign was inspired by St. Paul’s adoption of ranked choice voting. The elections this November will see the first implementation of the ranked choice voting system that St. Paul voters approved in a referendum in 2009.

The system allows voters to rank candidates in order of preference. If one candidate receives more than 50 percent of the first choice votes, they win outright. Otherwise, the candidate with the lowest number of first choice votes is eliminated and their votes are redistributed to the voter’s second choice. The process is repeated until one candidate crosses the threshold needed to win.

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Greens enter Portland, Maine’s first mayoral race; hope for boost from IRV

From the Portland Daily Sun:

Portland this year embarks on an elected-mayor campaign that replaces a council-appointed mayor with one elected to an at-large seat. Through a city charter change, voters also will choose their next mayor through rank choice voting, where if any candidate falls short of a majority, then the “second choice” votes come into play in the tabulation.

MacMillan is working on the mayoral campaign for Portland’s David Marshall, an incumbent city councilor and Green Party member seeking the elected-mayor office. Another Maine Green Party member, former state legislator John Eder of Portland, announced in February his candidacy for the Mayor of Portland.

Green Party members said rank choice allows people to vote their conscience instead of feeling they’re casting a vote on a potential “spoiler” who could drain votes away from one of the two major parties.

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Maine Greens Applaud Passage of Instant Runoff Voting in Portland

MAINE GREENS CONGRATULATE CANDIDATES FOR RUNNING STRONG CAMPAIGNS, STRENGTHEN THE CALL FOR ELECTORAL REFORM

Maine Green Independent Party Candidates who ran for the office of state house and state senate ran strong campaigns, often finishing a close second in the race Tuesday night. Fred Horch, of Brunswick, ran a close second with 34% of the vote in District 66.

In Portland, voters approved the work the of the Portland Charter Commission that calls for the election of a mayor using instant runoff voting, a method of voting that allows voters to choose their preference of candidates by number.
“This is a great victory for the people of Portland and those of us who worked for this reform on the commission,” said Anna Trevorrow, a Green Independent candidate who finished second in her race for state house in district 120, against incumbent Diane Russell.
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IRV and Green Party Candidates in Burlington VT

According to this story in the Burlington Free Press, there are five candidates running for city council in Burlington, VT. The election is March 3. It appears that even in the races with more than two candidates the one with the most votes win rather than a run off or using instant runoff voting.

Howver in the Mayor’s race, Burlington had adopted Instant Runoff Voting (IRV) in 2006, and this article published today  “Burlington Voters to Use Instant Runoff” describes how it was received, and how it will be used again on March 3 to determine the winner between five Mayoral candidates. This Mayor’s race is partisan, and includes a Progressive (Incumbent), Democrat, Green, Independent, and Republican. See the sample ballot with the ranked choice options here.

The Green Party candidates are:

  • James Simpson, Mayor
  • Jerri Kohl, Ward 1
  • Gregory Knops, Ward 2
  • Steve Ekberg, Ward 3
  • Lisa Ann Oberbrunner, Ward 5
  • Kim Mason, Ward 6

James Simpson’s positions are published in the Burlington Free Press here.

Burlington Vermont Green Party website is here.

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Ian Wilder: NBC finally starts to understand voting

[Ed. Taken in its entirety from “On the Wilder Side” (with permission), this post by Ian Wilder is worth reading…-rkh]

If NBC keeps this up they might actually stop asking the stupid “spoiler ” question of every non-corporate candidate they meet. They finally got that voter choices are complex, especially in a winner take all system. Voter’s issue both positive and negative votes, i.e. they make preference decision not only among the candidates they like, but also among the candidates they don’t dislike. NBC recognizes this possibility below by lumping the results of the 2nd through 4th place candidates together as an anti-front-runner (Obama) vote. Though this is still a simplification of voter preferences, it is closer to reality than the simple left or right “spoiler” dichotomy most of the corporate media mindlessly repeats.

from NBC/WSJ Poll: Obama keeps lead over McCain

But Obama’s lead over McCain expands to 13 points when third-party candidates Ralph Nader and Bob Barr are added into the mix — with Obama at 48 percent, McCain at 35 percent, Nader at 5 percent and Barr at 2 percent. However, it’s important to note that the pro-Obama vote (48 percent) and anti-Obama vote (adding up to 42 percent) is consistent with the result from the two-way match up. (emphasis added)

Of course this poll ignores Cynthia McKinney, the Green Party Presidential candidate as much of the corporate media and political establishment has. It is interesting how much more coverage the corporate media to gave McKinney’s former Georgia congressional colleague, and now Libertarian Presidential candidate, Bob Barr. Congressman Conyers seems to be following the lead of the corporate media by inviting former Congressman Barr to speak at impeachment hearings. Conyers did not invite McKinney who introduced the first Articles of Impeachment as her last act in Congress in 2005, which was 3 years before Kucinich introduced his.
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