Instant Runoff Voting

I mentioned in a comment to the previous post the notion of instant run-off voting. From my understanding of it, it is quite simple. Instead of voting for one person you rank the candidates in the order you prefer them.

For example, in the MN governor’s race, I may vote Hutchinson first, Hatch second and Pawlenty third. So imagine you get 3 points for 1st, 2 points for 2nd and 1 points for 3rd. Then you tally everyone’s score and whoever has the most points wins.

Another way to think about it is, if no one candidate has a majority (of votes for 1st) then you keep eliminating candidates from the bottom until someone does. For example, say Hatch got 47%, Pawlenty 46% and Hutchinson 7% of people’s first choice. You would then take the 2nd choice for the people that voted Hutchinson. Chances are, if people like Hutchinson they would have Hatch as a 2nd choice and the outcome would likely be Hatch 54% and Pawlenty 46%.

But note that this is not a concept that only helps the Left. Right wingers would be free to vote even more Right, for wacos like Pat Robertson, and still vote for the mainstream candidate as their 2nd choice, thereby not “throwing away” their vote.

I can’t see any downsides to this, except that it is slightly more complicated to tally. Voters are not going to have a problem understanding that they are rating candidates in order of preference.

Let’s do it and let’s do it everywhere. It might save our country.

Instant Runoff Voting

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