Rob Richie and Dorothy Scheeline of Fairvote have written some interesting analysis of last week’s elections that used instant runoff voting, aka ranked choice voting. Instant runoff voting was used in San Francisco, CA, St. Paul, MN, and Portland, ME; in all three cities, Greens both helped enact IRV and ran in last Tuesday’s elections. For the mayoral elections in Portland and San Francisco, Fairvote has graphs that show the breakdown of votes round by round until someone takes a majority (in Portland, Greens David Marshall and John Eder finished 4th and 12th of 15; in SF, Green Terry Baum finished 11th of 16). In a Huffington Post article, Richie and Scheeline focus on the story of IRV’s success in Portland:
Repeatedly, we are seeing RCV winners being the candidates who do a particularly effective job at reaching out to voters, often with direct contact involving community debates, local events, and door-knocking. One Portland candidate, David Marshall, said he knocked on 20,000 doors. He didn’t win, but it was ballots from his supporters that provided a particularly strong boost to the new mayor’s win total.
Non-Majority Rule in American Elections
More than a Dozen U.S. Senate and GOvernor’s Races Won with <50%
A FairVote Innovative Analysis by Chris Marchsteiner / Rob Richie on “IRV” in NC
FairVote intern Chris Marchstein has done a weekly series of blog posts this election season from the “non-majority rule” desk, profiling the many stories from the fall about partisans running “faux” third party candidates to split the vote, major candidates being asked to drop out to avoid “spoiling” and examples of how our plurality voting system fails to accommodate voter choice. Following is his latest blogpost and an update from FairVote’s Rob Richie on the first-ever statewide general election with instant runoff voting.
Non-Majority Winners and “Spoilers” in Election 2010
Election Day brought big changes this year. Republicans took control of the U.S. House of Representatives decisively, while the Democratic Party narrowly held onto the U.S. Senate. With a majority of the nation’s governors being elected, Republicans made key gains. While the media’s narrative will undoubtedly focus on the winners and losers, our Non-Majority Rule desk will zero in on how plurality voting rules skewed and distorted several elections – and led to some underhanded campaign tactics. Continue Reading