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Live blogging the 2009 elections... some races we're following tonight

by Rob Richie // Published November 3, 2009

It's Election Day in many cities and some states in the United States, and FairVote and FairVote Action have been involved in several ballot measures and closely following several other elections. We'll be reporting on results and analyzing elections as the night progresses.

Here are a few races we're watching with particular interest:or your November 3, 2009 scorecard, it's:

* The twin cities in Minnesota: Saint Paul voters are weighing instituting instant runoff voting (IRV) for city elections, while Minneapolis is using IRV for the first time for mayor, city council and other offices, with a record number of candidates on the November ballot. It's also using the choice voting method of proportional voting for electing its park board. Early indications are that voters have had an easy time with their new ranked choice voting systems. Polls close at 9 pm ET / 8 pm local time.

* Pierce County (WA) is voting on Amendment 3 to repeal IRV. It's part of a package of amendment proposals placed on the ballot by the county council that would extend their terms, double the amount of money they can raise in election years from their opponents and have them run in lower-turnout election years. At least $38,000 was spent in efforts to pass the amendments, but both major parties and the League of Women Voters support retaining IRV.

* Aspen (CO) is considering Referendum 2A, an advisory question on keeping IRV. Its first IRV election had the highest turnout in history, but it was hotly contested, and some losing candidates have focused energy on IRV. The Aspen Times has recommended voters keep IRV. Polls close at 9 pm ET, 7 pm local time.

* Lowell (MA) is considering Question 1 to replace its winner-take-all, at-large voting system with the choice voting form of proportional voting. Advocates have run a great grassroots campaign. Nearby Cambridge (MA) is using choice voting for its city council and school committee elections. Polls are now closed

* Hendersonville (NC) is holdingg its second IRV elections for mayor and city council. Takoma Park and San Francisco have IRV elections, but none with more than two candidates. I just voted in my Takoma Park elections, enjoying an opportunity to use Scantegrity's innovative new voting method designed to increase election integrity.

Like many others, we'll also be following candidates races and other ballot measures. If you have a chance to vote today, I hope you can do it!