Fairvote.org is currently undergoing an upgrade, and some features may not be working as usual. We apologize for any inconvenience, and expect to be back at full capacity soon.

Quotes from Student Leaders on IRV

Arizona State University University
“Society would benefit from this increase in debate, and we owe it to our democracy to implement instant runoff voting to help third parties become viable, to help craft policy and to improve society for all.”

Collin Phillips, USG Senator for the Honors College

California Institute of Technology
“Instant runoff has worked quite well for us, and our run-offs have actually occurred not infrequently. I think two of our nine offices last year were chosen through instant run-off (possibly only one, but certainly one), and the choices do seem to mirror what the students at large wanted. The system has been in place for a number of years”

Galen Loram, President, Associated Students


Carleton University
“By and large IRV voting has worked very well for us in the past 3 and ½ years (the time that I have been involved in the student government here). There seems to be very little strategic voting and at the end of an election one candidate actually has a majority of the votes.”

Seth Levi Cooper, President, Student Association

“Instant runoff has worked quite well for us, and our run-offs have actually occurred not infrequently. I think two of our nine offices last year were chosen through instant run-off (possibly only one, but certainly one), and the choices do seem to mirror what the students at large wanted. The system has been in place for a number of years”“By and large IRV voting has worked very well for us in the past 3 and ½ years (the time that I have been involved in the student government here). There seems to be very little strategic voting and at the end of an election one candidate actually has a majority of the votes.” Read an e-mail message from a Carleton Student.

Columbia University
“Adopting instant runoff voting in Columbia’s student elections would also improve elections by enlivening debate and improving representation. Such a system would encourage candidates to run on specific policies alone, increasing the visibility of election issues along with the likelihood that an amalgamated compromise platform would emerge. In elections with multiple candidates (traditionally CCSC At-Large), those candidates with the greatest appeal to the most voters are ensured victory, rather than the few who are able to eke out narrow majorities regardless of mass appeal. Finally, as hope for more substantive elections becomes reality, voter turnout will increase.”

“The CCSC Elections Board can and should amend its constitution to replace plurality voting with a system of preferential voting, like instant runoff. The technological infrastructure already exists to implement this change, and all that is required is a simple rule change and a campaign to spread awareness of the new system. While we may be unable to avoid student campaigns often led by enterprising rather than sincerely concerned peers, students can and should expect more of their primary democratic outlet than a spoils system in which the reward is a boosted resume. Instant runoff voting surely is not a panacea, but through its adoption, Columbia can strengthen its internal electoral process and serve as a vehicle for societal change.”

Brenden Cline, student & reporter for The Columbia Spectator currently pushing the adoption of IRV for Columbia's student elections.

Hendrix College
"In 2003, my election, we were bogged down with four different runoffs (divided by our Spring Break). It was burdensome on the candidates and annoyed the student body. With a campus of 1,000 students, we were lucky to get 300 students out to vote. One of my first initiatives as a new Senator was to change our voting processes in hopes of increasing voter turnout and eliminating student apathy with elections. We passed the "IRV Bill of 2003" unanimously. We recently had our annual campus-wide elections and had a  turnout of over 500 students. Also, we had the results of the election two hours after the polls closed (we had to have broken a record). Instead of waiting a couple weeks to know who was President or your Senator, we knew for certain in just two hours. I highly recommend this process to any school, especially small schools. Thank you for your website and supplemental materials. It made my presentation much more easy and convincing!"

Brad Howard, vice-president of the Hendrix College Student Senate.

Luther College
“The use of IRV in elections for one seat elections (Executive Team, etc...) have been very successful.  We have even used IRV in our meetings.”

Erik Olson, Vice President, Student Senate

Macalester University
“We use IRV for our Executive  elections, and last year (Spring 2004) was the first time for that process.  It went very well (without controversy)…”

Michael  Barnes, President, Student Government

North Carolina State University
"The idea of Instant Runoff Voting is to be able to vote who you want to see win."
"You're able to pick your candidate [who you want to win] instead of picking the lesser of two evils."
"It's kind of the future of voting if you look at it in a lot of different ways."

Adam Compton, Student Senator who sponsored the bill to adopt IRV at NC State University.

Portland State University
"IRV is going to promise us an election that elects candidates with a plurality of votes."

Tony Rasmussen, student government web developer

Sonoma State University
“We have moved to an IRV system for our campus elections. Last year was the first time it was implemented and everything went off without a hitch. As popularity and competition for positions grows, we expect the IRV system to be particularly useful for our students. We actually used your website last year as a resource to educate our students on how to vote and why we felt
the change was appropriate.”

Jason Spencer, President, Associated Students, Inc.

“Everything went very smoothly last year, our first year with this system. It certainly makes the planning for the elections easier.”

Trisha Allen, Elections Commissioner/Supervisor, Associated Students, Inc.

University of California-Berkeley
“In my three years of experience with student government elections at Berkeley, I have found IRV to be very time-efficient and democratic.  We allow student voters every spring to rank up to 20 candidates for the Senate and any number of candidates for the executive offices.”

Angel Symoon Brewer, Elections Chair, Associated Students

The University of Iowa
"In the end, everybody's vote counts because you rank your choices."
"Even if your No. 1 vote doesn't get it, your vote doesn't get disintegrated."

Maison Bleam, UISG President


Do you have an IRV success story you want to share? We want to hear it. Feel free to tell us about it, and maybe we'll post it to our website. Email us at IRV @ fairvote.org, fax it to us at 301-270-4133, or call us at 301-270-4616