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Pierce County, WA: The Next IRV Victory!

by Nicholaus Norvell // Published June 22, 2006
Fourth in a series of guest blog posts by FairVote interns.

Great things are happening for Instant Runoff Voting (IRV) in Washington State! Pierce County, WA has taken up IRV as one of its many charter reforms that will go before the voters this November. Their Charter Review Commission has proposed a number of changes for the Evergreen State"s second most populous county, which includes the city of Tacoma.

Former FairVote staffer Caleb Kleppner addressed the reform commission and had some great things to say about why we need IRV and shared some of the movement"s success stories. Wisely, the commissioners took his words to heart and are putting the choice to the voters in the coming general election.

Accountability and public access to government are common themes throughout the proposals adopted by the commission Saturday, said Commissioner Grant Pelesky of Puyallup. He said the commission "has done the work of being the eyes and ears of the general electorate."

Leaders in the fight for election reform are organizing through groups like IRV Washington. The most important thing over the next few months is that voters in Washington are educated about how IRV works and why it"s an important step in making elections more representative. Incidentally, a victory this November might allow cities within Pierce County to more easily transition to IRV; voters will already be educated about it and elections officials will know how to administrate it.

IRV is a method of voting by which voters rank their candidates and election results reflect a majority view without a second election. It saves money, gets rid of the "spoiler" problem, improves voter turnout, encourages campaigns with positive messages and eliminates the problems of plurality voting.

Pierce would be the very first county government in the country to use IRV. You can help make this happen in Pierce as well as in your region by getting involved in the push for IRV. You can also Donate to the IRVictories Campaign. Through it you can help support IRV efforts like Pierce County throughout the nation!

Nick is a FairVote summer intern from sunny San Diego, CA. He is the newest addition to the IRV America team and focuses on political theory at Wesleyan University. It is (obviously) not an all-girls school, so please, do not ask.