Friday, March 10th 2006
On Tuesday, Burlington, Vermont proved that instant runoff voting (IRV) hasn't just
arrived in that state. It has arrived nationally. It's time to take this democratic
innovation to a higher level.
Burlington's mayoral election was a smashing success for IRV. The Burlington Free
Press got it right with their post-election article: "Burlington Voters Ace
Instant Runoff." In line with the city's recent history of electing candidates of his
party, state legislator Bob Kiss of the Progressive Party is the new mayor. The voting
went very smoothly, and the city instantly achieved a majority winner after a
first-round vote of 39% for Kiss to 31% for a Democrat to 26% for a Republican. Kiss
won despite being outspent by a margin of some eight to one and was successful in part
by campaigning vigorously for second choices in areas of the city where Republican
candidate won most first choices.
On Election Day, Burlington resident Howard Dean made a point of voting in person,
coming out of the polling booth to laud the IRV system to reporters. The Associated
Press's pre-election and post-election articles about IRV ran in major newspapers
across the nation. And New Jersey's capital city newspaper the Trenton Times
published a powerful editorial in favor of the system today. In fact, a bill is in the
legislature for a formal study of IRV in New Jersey.
That's why we've decided it's time to form the IRVictory Fund. We need a
vehicle to draw support for the exciting efforts developing around the nation a bill
in the Vermont state legislature, city campaigns in places like Minneapolis (MN),
Cincinnati (OH) and Davis (CA) and legislative efforts to establish ranked ballots for
overseas and military voters in runoffs. The Fund also is designed to draw more people
into action and to inspire more prominent figures to signal their support for majority
voting through IRV for our highest offices. Read below for more.
Indeed, it's an exciting time for us in general as we advance our vision of how
"democracy will be." Thanks for reading!
Advancing voting rights in California
FairVote and California Common Cause file an amicus brief arguing that proportional
voting systems can be remedies in state Voting Rights Act cases.
- FairVote welcomes Rachel Lewis as its Outreach Director. Rachel
comes to FairVote after working for Sen. Hillary Clinton.
- FairVote.org is Site of the Day at Politics1.com
Our Executive Director and resident road warrior Rob Richie is out on the West Coast,
talking to activists, meeting with changemakers, and teaming up with FairVote Board
members Krist Novoselic, Cindy Terrell and Pete Martineau for a series of
pro-democracy house parties!
We are gratified to receive a growing number of donations for our work to remove
the barriers to free and fair elections. Please give generously.