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Burlington's Has Second Highly Successful Ranked Choice Voting Election

Krist Novoselic // Published March 3, 2009 in Seattle Weekly

Incumbent mayor Bob Kiss won Burlington, Vermont's second instant runoff voting (IRV) election for mayor in which voters had the power to rank five candidates in order of preference. In Washington we call this system Ranked Choice Voting (RCV). First used in Burlington to elect its mayor in 2006, instant runoff voting essentially combines a first round and a runoff election into one.

The Burlington election was a model of clean, open debate without "spoiler" concerns. Democratic city councilor Bill Keogh was quoted in the local daily newspaper, the Burlington Free Press, as saying, "This campaign has been very, very good" and that the four leading candidates had been "as forthright as they can be with their views. This is the most respectful and informative campaign in Burlington in a long time."

That's a major benefit of Ranked Choice Voting - less negative campaigning. Remember all of the negative political advertising in last fall's Top-Two campaign? It seemed like the nasty commercials were never going to stop! If you're tired of negative campaigning you should check out Ranked Choice Voting.