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Instant runoff voting just makes sense

David Larson // Published March 12, 2009 in Des Moines Register

Minnesota's Andy Cilek leveraged little of substance into his Feb. 21 letter decrying instant runoff voting, instead larding it with hyperventilated propagandizing. It was no more than an exercise in nonproductive naysaying.

Cilek's sole citation was of a position alleged to a lone Minnesota election official - and even that referenced but a single point.

In contrast, in his Jan. 31 Iowa View, advocating adoption of instant runoff voting in Iowa, Jim Paprocki offered sources, illustrations and both practical and philosophical rationales recommending this increasingly used option for broadening electoral choice.

As explained by Paprocki, this option comprises in its unitary process the entire runoff series potential in elections. The resultant savings are manifest to all.

As it promises not only important tax-dollar savings, but full candidate choice, instant runoff voting merits Iowa adoption. Democratic participation that's made easier and is more representative is a nearly universal ideal.

Nearly, but not completely. As Cilek's offering illustrates, the current limited and anti-public-interest model enjoys continuing support in some quarters.

But then, Jim Crow-era poll tests had their defenders, too.

- David Larson, Waterloo