Posted on November 16, 2006
San Francisco's third city-wide round of elections under instant runoff voting were a success. Multiple instant runoffs yielded majority winners in two hotly contested District Supervisor races. Exit polls in one District showed a high percentage of voters cast multiple rankings, with low voter error.
66% of Asian-American voters in District 4 found IRV "helpful," partly because it guaranteed that majority-Asian American district could elect a candidate of choice. The support of Asian American voters was divided among four Asian American candidates in the first round of counting. It nearly was the first IRV election in San Francsico where the first-choice leader did not win in the end; a non-Asian candidate finished a very close second in the first choice count. Such reversals don't happen very often, but when they do, it means a plurality winner would have triumphed over a fractured majority without IRV.