Posted on March 07, 2006On Tuesday March 7, Burlington, VT became the first city in the U.S. in over 30 years to elect its mayor using instant runoff voting (IRV) in what Vermont media termed a "flawless" election. In addition, FairVote's Caleb Kleppner has written a report on the Burlington election, the links can be found below.
After the first round of counting, no candidate garnered the required majority to win outright. Progressive candidate Bob Kiss received 39% of first choices, Democrat Hinda Miller 31%, and Republican Kevin Curley 26%. At this point an instant runoff kicked in. Curley and two other independent candidates were eliminated and their supporters' second choices counted. This gave Kiss enough votes to cross the majority threshold and win the race.
Voters found the system easy to use and understand, and almost no trouble with the balloting was reported. In fact, out of every 1,000 voters in the mayoral race, 999 cast a valid ballot. The Progressive Party has been active in Vermont politics for decades, and Burlington has elected several Progressive mayors in the past under the previous plurality system.
[ Read "IRV deemed a success" in the Burlington Free Press ]
[ Read an AP story on the election ]
[ More on IRV in Vermont ]
[ Read Caleb Kleppner's Report on Burlington's Election (.pdf/396 Kb) ]
[ Read Caleb Kleppner's Election Analysis (.xls/3.05 Mb) ]