E-Newsletter November 7, 2007

Released November 7, 2007
2007 IRV Victories


Gala RSVP
Gala RSVP
Greetings!

Many newly elected candidates are no doubt celebrating today, basking in the glow of their fresh victories. But they were not the only winners from Election Day 2007.

Instant runoff voting earned landslide support on ballots across the country. A whopping 77% of voters in Aspen (CO) voted to move to instant runoff voting. Sarasota (FL) voters topped that margin, voting 78% for IRV and prompting the Sarasota Herald Tribune to call the city “a model of election reform.” In a particularly important election for next year, 65% of voters in Pierce County (WA) voted on a charter amendment to keep IRV on track for the hotly contested 2008 county executive race. In rural western Washington, voters in Clallam County narrowly rejected establishing IRV as an option in their charter.

Several cities also held ranked voting elections.
  • San Francisco held its fourth IRV election overall, and its first for mayor, with first-round winners in three citywide races.
  • Takoma Park (MD) smoothly held its first IRV election for mayor, with nary a single spoiled ballot out of more than 1,000 cast.
  • The city of Hendersonville (NC), following in the footsteps of Cary (NC) in using IRV this fall, had a strong first IRV election for two city council seats. As one voter put it, “There's nothing to it.”
  • Cambridge (MA) held city council and school committee elections with the choice voting system of proportional voting, now in its seventh decade of use.
All this good news comes at a particularly fortuitous time as FairVote hosts Claim Democracy 2007 this weekend at the University of the District of Columbia, a major pro-democracy conference drawing hundreds of reformers from across America, and celebrates a decade and a half of reform with its 15th Anniversary Gala at Union Station. We'd love for you to join us!

For details on the conference, visit www.claimdemocracy.com and find details on the birthday gala at www.fairvote.org/gala.

Finally, the judges have spoken, and we at FairVote are proud to announce the winners of our Upgrade Democracy Video Contest! A large field of entries was narrowed down to ten finalists. Joined by the public counting as one judge, our panel of celebrity judges then cast their instant runoff ballots giving us our first, second, and third place winners in repeated rounds of voting. Drum roll please!

  • Third Place — “No Voice” by Natalia Nazarewicz [Watch It Now]

  • Second Place — “Voting Broker Her Heart” by Jared Margulies, Josh Sasson, Michelle Kurta, and David Purcell [Watch It Now]

    ”¦and the video that was the top choice of judges and online voters alike”¦

  • First Place — “Democracy (Should Look Like Cable TV)” by Joel Moss Levinson [Watch It Now]
Joel will be officially awarded his prize at the 15th Anniversary Gala Saturday night, and from what we're told, his acceptance speech will be as irreverent as his music video. Don't miss it. We want to sincerely thank everyone who took the time and effort to submit a video entry. They were funny, thoughtful, and creative, and all deserve congratulations. We urge people to review many more of the entries when they can.

Finally”¦.. The work of a reformer does come with a price tag. We supported each of this week's big wins for IRV, and yes, we rely on individual donations to make this difference. Please consider a donation — earmarked for action work if you'd like — as we move into major opportunities to open up our elections in 2008.

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