Posted on April 01, 2009
On March 31st, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a measure to create a commission to study the use of instant runoff voting for special elections. The measure was introduced by new Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas. It came on the heels of a March 24th special primary election to fill Ridley-Thomas' former State Senate seat in which only 6% of registered voters bothered to show up at the polls for an election that cost taxpayers $2.2 million. It was the fifth election local voters have been asked to vote in within the past year, which Ridley-Thomas said contributes to "voter fatigue." The commission will report back to the Board on May 12th on the feasability of using IRV for county elections.
State Assemblymember Ted Lieu is expected to introduce a similar measure to enact IRV for state special elections soon. In California, IRV has already been adopted by San Francisco, Oakland, and Berkeley.