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Ann Arbor, Michigan Charter Amendment

Adopted by voters November 5, 1974

 

Research thanks to Craig Harvey and Benjamin Walter with the Huron Valley Greens, who assembled additional historical information about the campaign for and useage of instant runoff voting in Ann Arbor.

This petition was passed by the voters and implemented on April 7, 1975.  A legal challenge to the system was filed, and the trial court upheld the constitutionality of instant runoff voting.

 


Ballot Language Proposal,
General Election, November 5, 1974

CHARTER AMENDMENT PROPOSAL

"Shall the City Charter be amended to provide that the Mayor shall be elected by a majority of voters, by permitting each voter to designate a first preference and subsequent preferences; so that if no candidate receives a majority of first preferences, then the candidate with the fewest such votes is eliminated and secondary preferences of the voters for that candidate are counted instead, the process being repeated until one candidate receives a majority of valid votes?"

Yes: 17,405
No: 15,715
Yes by a Majority of 1,690 votes

 


CITY CHARTER AMENDMENT PETITION

PREFERENTIAL VOTING FOR MAYOR

To the City Clerk of Ann Arbor:

(1) We, the undersigned registered and qualified voters of the City of Ann Arbor, Michigan hereby petition that: (1) The Charter for the City of Ann Arbor, Michigan be amended by adding a second paragraph to Section 12 of Chapter 13; (2) The proposed amendment shall constitute one ballot question to be submitted at the next regular election, and, as a ballot question shall read as follows, the proposed amendment in full to be posted in a conspicuous place in each polling place:

(2) "Shall the City Charter be amended to provide that the Mayor shall be elected by a majority of voters, by permitting each voter to designate a first preference and subsequent preferences; so that if no candidate receives a majority of first preferences, then the candidate with the fewest such votes is eliminated and secondary preferences of the voters for that candidate are counted instead, the process being repeated until one candidate receives a majority of valid votes?"

(3) The text of the proposed amendment shall read as follows:

(1) In this paragraph (A) "first preference" means the figure "1" standing alone, "second preference" means the figure "2" standing alone in succession to the figure "1", and so on; (B) "next available preference" means a second or subsequent preference recorded in consecutive numerical order for a continuing candidate, the preference next in order for candidates already excluded being ignored; (C) "continuing candidate" means any candidate not excluded; (D) "transferable vote" means a vote on which no second or subsequent preference is designated for a continuing candidate.

(2) Each elector who votes for Mayor shall have one transferable vote.

(3) An elector voting for Mayor (A) shall designate a first preference for one of the candidates for Mayor; and (B) may in addition designate second and subsequent preferences for other candidates for Mayor in order of preference.

(4) A vote for Mayor shall be invalid and not counted (A) if a first preference for a candidate for Mayor is not designated; or (B) if the same preference for a candidate for Mayor is designated for more than one such candidate; or (C) if two or more preferences are designated for some one candidate for Mayor; or (D) if unmarked, or void for uncertainty.

(5) The Board of Canvassers shall, after rejecting any votes for Mayor that are invalid, arrange the valid votes for Mayor according to the first preferences recorded for each candidate for Mayor. The Board of Canvassers shall count said first preferences for Mayor and credit each candidate with the number of votes equal to such first preferences.

(6) The Board of Canvassers shall then add together all valid votes for Mayor and divide this number by two. The result plus one, any fractional remainder discarded, shall be the number of votes necessary to elect the Mayor. This number shall be recomputed at the end of every transfer of votes, with non-transferable votes discarded, and is herein called the "majority".

(7) If at the end of any count or at the end of any transfer of votes, the number of votes credited to any candidate for Mayor is equal to or greater than the majority, such candidate shall be declared Mayor, and no further count or transfer shall be necessary.

(8) If at the end of any count or at the end of any transfer of votes, no candidate for Mayor has a majority, the Board of Canvassers shall: (A) exclude from the count the candidate for Mayor credited with the least number of votes; (B) subdivide the transferable votes according to the next available preference; and (C) transfer each such subdivision to the candidate for Mayor for whom the next available preference is designated. Such next available preference shall then be treated in this and subsequent counts as a first preference and a vote for the appropriate continuing candidate.

(9) During each transfer of votes a separate subdivision shall be made of the non-transferable votes, such non-transferable votes to be excluded from the calculation of the majority.

(10) If, when a candidate is excluded, two or more candidates are each credited with the same number of votes, the Board of Canvassers shall determine by lot between such candidates which candidate shall be excluded.

(11) If, when only two candidates for Mayor remain, each is credited with the same number of votes, the Board of Canvassers shall determine by lot between such candidates which candidate shall be elected, in accordance with the provisions of this Chapter.

(12) The Board of Canvassers shall record the number of votes credited to each candidate for Mayor at the end of every count. Such record shall also include (A) the number of non-transferable votes excluded from the calculation of the majority, and (B) the number of votes necessary to form a majority to be  elected Mayor.