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San Francisco Ethics Commission Resolution

Resolution Passed by the San Francisco Ethics Commission Calling for Immediate Implementation of Instant Runoff Voting in Time for the November 2003 Election. -- Adopted Unanimously on June 23, 2003.


WHEREAS, the voters of San Francisco have overwhelmingly supported encouraging candidates to reduce campaign spending, and

WHEREAS, A clear majority of the voters have consistently supported reasonable limitations on contributions both to candidates and independent expenditure committees to reduce the actual and perceived corrupting influence of large contributions on public policy decisions by local elected officials; and

WHEREAS, Public testimony to the Ethics Commission and the campaign finance reports filed with the Commission show that historically, the amount of independent expenditures has been considerably greater in run-off elections, as compared to general elections; and

WHEREAS, the Commission's records indicate that the amount of independent expenditures made to support or oppose candidates for the Board of Supervisors in the November 2002 general election amounted to $59,357, and that amount increased almost four-fold to $202,548 in the run-off election; and

WHEREAS, the historical experience is that voter turnout is usually considerably smaller in run-off elections as compared to general elections; and

WHEREAS, the implementation of Instant Run-Off Voting as required by Proposition A passed by the voters in March 2002 would eliminate a run-off election for each of the local City offices to be elected in the fall of 2003: the offices of the Mayor, Sheriff and District Attorney; and

WHEREAS, the Ethics Commission finds that implementation of Instant Run-off Voting would dramatically reduce the amount of large independent expenditures in this fall's election; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the Ethics Commission urges the Board of Supervisors to take all steps necessary to implement immediately the Instant Run-Off Voting system as required by the voters by passage of Proposition A for the November 2003 general election.