For instant runoffs

Posted: Wednesday, August 21, 2002

On Aug. 27, Alaska voters will have the opportunity to empower themselves by voting for Ballot Measure 1 adopting Instant Runoff Voting (IRV).

From a voter's point of view, IRV offers the following advantages:

• Promotes fairness and majority rule.

• Allows voters to vote their conscience without fear of wasting their vote or helping elect the candidate they least prefer.

• Eliminates low-turnout, expensive runoff elections because you already voted your runoff choice at the first election.

• Prevents spoiler candidates with little chance of winning from knocking off more representative candidates.

• Eliminates majority voters splitting their votes among similar candidates allowing a candidate with only minority appeal to win.

• Upholds the one-person one-vote principle.

• Promotes positive, issue-based campaigns because candidates will seek second and third choice votes.

Our nation's leading election reform organization, The Center for Voting and Democracy endorses the use of Instant Runoff Voting as does the American Political Science Association, which uses IRV to elect their president. Additionally, the U.S. Federal Reserve Board also uses IRV.

As an Alaskan and as an attorney who has represented elections officials, I know of no other reform more important to ensure fair elections and majority rule in our state.

I urge all voters to vote on Aug. 27, and to vote yes on Ballot Measure 1. It's the right thing to do.

Chip Wagoner


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