|this is very good news. learn more at http://www.firv.org|
Vermont's instant runoff will be first for U.S.
BURLINGTON, Vt. - Runoff elections are typically cumbersome processes, taking weeks and sometimes months to determine a winner. Burlington is going to do it all instantly.
In an innovation known as instant runoff voting, the results of Tuesday's five-candidate election for mayor and whatever runoffs are needed to settle it will all be known soon after polls close.
For the first time in a mayoral election in the United States, voters will mark their ballots for their favorite candidate, along with their second, third, fourth and fifth choices.
If none of the five gets 50 percent of the vote on the first round, the candidate with the lowest vote total would be eliminated. Then the second choice of the voters who made that candidate their initial pick would be counted, and so on.
"As soon as somebody gets to 50 percent, it stops," said Jo LaMarche, the city's election director.
Advocates promote instant runoff voting, also known as ranked-choice voting, as a way of boosting voter turnout and encouraging more people to run for public office by eliminating concerns that a third-party candidate might be a spoiler.
"Nationally, people are catching on to how IRV can open up our politics," said Ryan O'Donnell, communications director of FairVote, the Center for Voting and Democracy. "It's a reform that produces majority winners, encourages candidates to reach out to more voters, and eliminates the 'spoiler' problem."
- Associated Press
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