Posted on November 16, 2008
While the nation's pundit-class waits in suspense to see the final outcome in the final three U.S. Senate races, the so-called "spoiler" problem is rearing its ugly head again. In all three races, independent and third-party candidates earned enough support to deny the final winners a majority of the vote. But this November, Memphis (TN) addressed this problem by overwhelmingly passing instant runoff voting (IRV) by 70% for city races. Telluride also approved IRV handily and will be heading towards implementation.
Meanwhile, Pierce County (WA) and San Francisco (CA) held successful elections using IRV. In Pierce County, the reform is already changing political dynamics, with newspapers endorsing first choice and second choice candidates, and parties running more than one candidate for office without fear of dividing their vote.
[Website for the successful Memphis IRV Campaign]
[San Francisco election results]
[Pierce County Election results]