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.
WASHINGTON, DC — Green Party candidates have continued to receive endorsements in local races across the US.
59 Greens will be on ballots in the November 8, 2011 general election. Ten Greens have been elected to public office in elections held earlier this year, out of 34 candidates who competed.
Green candidates in St. Paul, Minnesota, received several endorsements. For the first time, St. Paul will use Ranked Choice Voting (also called Instant Runofff Voting) in City Council elections, which will increase the chances of a Green election victory.
The Huffington Post recently interviewed Terry Baum, California Green Party candidate for San Francisco Mayor:
Why should we vote for you?
You should vote for me because I’m a Green, and I represent a vision that this city — and our whole country — desperately needs. In this time of reactionary ranters and passive progressives, the politics of the U.S. are being pulled rapidly to the right. The Democratic Party has been incapable of confronting the idiocies of the Tea Party and the frightening rhetoric of the religious right. We need a stronger voice on the left, and the Green Party is that voice for sanity, for significant reform, and for standing up to the corporations and the wealthy, who have been dominating political dialog.
KALW News has published an interview with Terry Baum, Green Party candidate for Mayor of San Francisco, at SFGate.com:
This year’s SF mayoral election is ranked choice, meaning San Franciscans can all vote for more than one candidate. If the frontrunner doesn’t get a majority of first place votes, the second place votes kick in. And that process is going to make for a lot of contenders – 16 of them, in fact. And one is Terry Baum.
Baum worked on the congressional campaign of famed feminist Bella Abzug back in 1970. She then moved to the Bay Area and started working with a lesbian theater company. In 2004 she ran as a Green candidate against Representative Nancy Pelosi for her seat in the House. And now, Baum is taking her thoughts back to the people of San Francisco by running for mayor.
The Bay Area Reporter has a feature piece on Terry Baum, an out lesbian and Green who is challenging the Democratic Party status quo in San Francisco Politics by running for Mayor.
“There are a lot of problems in San Francisco and Democrats have been governing a long time. They have to take responsibility for those problems,” said Baum, 64, in an interview with the Bay Area Reporter. “We have a one-party city. It is not healthy for North Korea being a one-party state and it is not healthy for San Francisco.”
City Hall is awash in cronyism, contends Baum, who argues electing her mayor would bring that to an end.
“The best way to break that up and bring some fresh air in would be to elect a Green mayor,” she said. “People feel disconnected from politics because there aren’t enough voices.”
Due to ranked-choice voting, Baum argued she can’t be tarred and feathered as a spoiler candidate, as Green candidates have been blamed in the past.
“There is no issue of throwing away your vote,” said Baum. “People are free to vote for me as their number one and put the person they think has a better chance of winning as their number two.”