Posted on February 11, 2006The city of Houston is being urged to replace its troubled system of runoffs with instant runoff voting. As recent city elections demonstrated, the current system undermines the legitimacy of the entire election process. A democracy cannot claim to be of the people by the people when only 4% of the city’s registered voters took part in the cumbersome December 10th runoff for an at-large city council seat.
In an Op.-Ed. to the Houston Chronicle, political science professor Mark Jones details just how the city would benefit upon adoption of an IRV system. The idea of ensuring the will of the majority through the use of candidate ranking is a concept that has taken hold in many other cities around the nation, most notably in San Francisco where IRV is now preferred by a large majority of the electorate. The city of Houston stands to save millions of taxpayer dollars that are desperately needed for essential public services by eliminating the cost of holding runoff elections.
[ Read Mark Jones' Op-Ed. in The Houston Chronicle ]