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450 Sign to get Vote on IRV
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Paul Decelles says yesterday at the runoff polling place, he and some other guy had lines of people waiting to sign a petition to get instant runoff voting back to another city wide vote. He says they got around 450 signatures.

Instant runoff voting is over. If they got that many signatures in one day, it will be on the ballot soon. When it gets on the ballot, IRV is going to go down in flames. The Burlington instant runoff voting experiment will have lasted for exactly two mayoral cycles. It's back to the old system next time around. Bet on it.
posted by Haik Bedrosian @ 10:08 AM  
31 Comments:
  • At March 25, 2009 11:55 AM, Anonymous Ivan Jacobs said…

    I'll bet you a 6 pack you're wrong.

     
  • At March 25, 2009 12:07 PM, Blogger Haik Bedrosian said…

    OK You're on. For me to win there has to be a vote on IRV in the next city election AND IRV has to lose. You will win if there is either no vote on IRV in the next city election, or if there is a vote and IRV wins. Bet is on, Ivan.

     
  • At March 25, 2009 12:31 PM, Blogger Adam22772 said…

    Did they also survey how many of those 450 voted for Wright?

     
  • At March 25, 2009 12:38 PM, Blogger Haik Bedrosian said…

    Why? What's the difference?

     
  • At March 25, 2009 12:38 PM, Anonymous jonas said…

    Oh Haik, always the pessimist.

    See, here's whats going to happen,

    1st round:
    Indian Leg Wrestling for Power: 29%
    Out and out Anarchy: 21%
    IRV: 19%
    Benevolent Despotism: 17%
    Iron-Fist Dictatorship:14%

    2nd round:
    Indian Leg Wrestling for Power: 36%
    IRV: 36%
    Out and out Anarchy: 28%

    3rd Round
    IRV: 51%
    Indian Leg Wrestling for Power: 49%

    Its going to be close, but I think IRV should squeak it out in the end. Once the Leg Wrestling folks realize their perpetuating Euro-American colonialism, they tend to be less willing to publicly defend their cause. The Anarchy folks gave it a good run, but they sort of lacked any coherent position....as one might expect. The Dictatorship folks decided it was a bit too 20th century to suggest people would submit to rule by force. Although, they got key supports from several prominent Burlington Democrats who were quoted as saying "We're easily intimidated by uniforms, it sounded like a good idea."


    (Sorry, that last jab wasn't fair. Funny, but not fair.)

     
  • At March 25, 2009 4:22 PM, Anonymous JB said…

    Republicans in the short-term are motivated to sign the petition because Wright would have won if only first choices had been counted and the field had remained split.

    But... Wright won a third of the vote. That's not a winning coalition, which is why he lost the mayoral race and why IRV will win.

    Stepping back from it, did you check out the results? Turnout dropped nearly in half! Is that what Burlington wants in elections? And does it want someone to win with only 40%, as the petition proposal would allow?

     
  • At March 25, 2009 4:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    If he had gathered signatures on election day he'd have had twice that. Too bad the turnout was so poor.

     
  • At March 25, 2009 7:16 PM, Blogger Haik Bedrosian said…

    Turnout was fine! 940 people voted! That's a lot!

     
  • At March 26, 2009 1:25 PM, Blogger Owen Mulligan said…

    Were can I get a copy? I want to sign and I know lots of people that do to...

     
  • At March 26, 2009 4:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    That's a lot? It's half the number who voted on election day.

     
  • At March 26, 2009 4:32 PM, Blogger Haik Bedrosian said…

    Over 900 is a lot to come back for a single council race long forgotten by most of the city.

    Yay real runoff!

     
  • At March 26, 2009 9:52 PM, Blogger JayV said…

    Over 900 is a lot, yes, especially since the polling place was moved to the newly opened Miller Center.

     
  • At March 27, 2009 12:45 PM, Anonymous Ivan Jacobs said…

    it was about 45% (Almost half!) the turn-out of election day. How is that a good thing?

     
  • At March 27, 2009 1:25 PM, Anonymous Ivan Jacobs said…

    Sorry, I meant 45% less turn-out than election day.

     
  • At March 27, 2009 2:59 PM, Blogger Haik Bedrosian said…

    It's a good thing because a lot of people turned out. Why would you ever expect as many people to come back for a runoff as did for the main event? That never happens.

    There are always fewer voters in runoffs. But that's not an argument in favor of IRV. Even if only one voter comes back to a real runoff, that's still more participation overall, than with an IRV election without a real runoff attached to it.

    I bet it's hot in the city.

     
  • At March 27, 2009 3:51 PM, Anonymous Ivan Jacobs said…

    Your logic is weird. I sometimes can't tell if you're being serious or not. Let me try to go through my thinking step-by-step:

    1)Around 99.8% of voters used the option of ranking candidates in the mayoral election.

    2) The people who voted for Simpson or Smith participated in a run-off. (and wanted to participate/filled in a 2nd choice for Kurt, Bob, or Andy)

    3) The people who voted for Simpson or Smith with Montroll as a 2nd choice (and wanted to participate/filled in a 3rd choice for Bob or Kurt) and the people who voted for Andy (and wanted to participate/filled in a 2nd choice for Bob or Kurt) participated in the final run-off which elected Bob Kiss.

    4) I'll make a leap here and say that there was a hell of a lot more participation in the IRV run-off than you could ever have in a 'real runoff'. I don't understand the argument to the contrary. I mean, as you say, there are always fewer voters in runoffs. I think that's a problem that IRV deals with.

    It is really warm down here... the other day I checked the weather online before going to work (outside) and almost had a heart-attack because I accidentally opened the Burlington weather and the forecast was like 30 degrees cooler than it should have been.

     
  • At March 27, 2009 10:49 PM, Blogger Haik Bedrosian said…

    It depends on how one defines participation. I contend that the dragging of one's ass back to the polls by a few constitutes much more participation than the filling in of a couple more dots by the many. In IRV nobody has to drag their ass back to the polls. Where's the fun in that? There's no grit.

    With IRV people go and vote on election day, and of course 98% will rank candidates. It's IRV. We're supposed to. Without IRV people go and vote on election day. But if there's a runoff some of them come back. Others who didn't vote the first time will come vote in the runoff. A real runoff will necessarily cause additional ballots to be cast on top of those cast on election day. An IRV race will necessarily prevent that possibility.

     
  • At March 28, 2009 11:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Unfortunately, the petition lowers the threshold back to 40 percent (or so I've heard). I could support a change to a regular run-off if no candidate achieved 50 percent.

     
  • At March 28, 2009 1:15 PM, Anonymous Ivan Jacobs said…

    "the petition lowers the threshold back to 40" Of course it does, this is primarily being pushed by Republicans.

    Burlington will probably never be a republican town. The R's know that 40%+1 is the only way they could ever sneak into power.

    That's really what a lot of this is about.

     
  • At March 28, 2009 2:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I'm not a Republican. I'm somewhere between independent and Democrat. And I've voted for many Progs as well. But I would consider supporting a real runoff (as opposed to IRV) as long as there was a 50 percent threshold.

     
  • At March 29, 2009 8:04 AM, Blogger Haik Bedrosian said…

    The R's know that 40%+1 is the only way they could ever sneak into power.

    Jesus Christ Ivan. That's exactly how Bernie Sanders came to power!

    40% is fine. Stop messing with it.

     
  • At March 29, 2009 2:17 PM, Anonymous Ivan Jacobs said…

    Jesus Christ Ivan. That's exactly how Bernie Sanders came to power!
    So? As far as I know Sanders supports IRV.
    40% is fine.
    How?
    Stop messing with it.
    Why? I want to win this 6 pack. IRV is fine. Stop messing with it.

     
  • At March 29, 2009 3:01 PM, Anonymous jonas said…

    It shows that 3rd parties don't need IRV to win an election.

    Or, is there something else Haik?

     
  • At March 29, 2009 5:51 PM, Blogger Haik Bedrosian said…

    Nobody is sneaking into power is my point. Nobody needs IRV to win. Nobody needs the old plurality system to win. The bet for beer is on the systems themselves, not whom we falsely assume they benefit.

    The only thing that matters is will Paul get enough signatures and get this on the ballot, and will a ballot item proposing to go back to the old system pass.

    We'll know by next March at the latest I guess.

     
  • At March 29, 2009 7:07 PM, Anonymous Ivan Jacobs said…

    Okay, I gotcha now.

    If you believe the Republicans aren't pushing to abolish IRV because they see it as an electoral obstacle you're kidding yourself.

    You laid the terms out on the bet very clearly.

    I think 'who benefits' in what system is (perhaps unfortunately) a consideration that matters in deciding to whether scrap IRV or not.

    How is 40% fine? And why shouldn't we mess with it?

     
  • At March 30, 2009 10:32 AM, Blogger Haik Bedrosian said…

    How is 40% fine? And why shouldn't we mess with it?

    The second question is answered by the first. We shouldn't mess with it because it's fine.

    It's fine because it was working fine. 40% in races with more than 2 candidates reflected a sufficient level of support for legitimacy, while avoiding any need for a runoff- pretty much ever, as far as I can tell.

    Incidentally, IRV has cost money to implement, but it hasn't saved us a dime, since the "expense" of a runoff was something we never had to pay before.

    It will be up to the voters to decide who gets the six-pack.

     
  • At April 02, 2009 8:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    IRV is nothing more than forcing you to vote for someone that you normally wouldn't vote for. I voted for Kurt, and on a normal system, he would have won. But I was forced to then vote for someone else as well, people whom I would never vote for, but because my ballot will be tossed for being "incompletely filed, I am forced to vote for them or have no vote at all. This is political coersion at it's best. Now the libs want it for the Governors race as well??? This is just stupid.

    Jim

     
  • At April 02, 2009 9:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    "But I was forced to then vote for someone else as well"

    So someone held a gun to your head and forced you to color in another oval? Wow, amazing. Surely you'll forgive me for saying you are prone to exaggeration.

    If you voted for Wright, then your vote stuck right down to the wire. Unfortunately for you, a large majority of Burlingtonians said they could not stomach Wright and intentionally ranked him LAST.

    In the absence of a clear majority for one candidate (40% is NOT a majority!), the most pallatable candidate deserves to win. In this case, Bob Kiss won.

    IRV worked as designed and eliminated the fear factor concocted by the two major parties in a plurality contest. To hear third-party banner holders like Haik and Owen [wince] promote pulling IRV is like listening to poor people promote Republicans: the party of robbing from the poor to give to the rich.

     
  • At April 05, 2009 7:22 AM, Anonymous JB said…

    Turns out Decelles and others trying to get IRV on the ballot for one of those really low turnout special elections that Haik seems to like ("because one person going to the polls is better than none")goofed up. See a Common Cause news release posted here:

    http://www.fairvote.org/blog/2009/04/common-cause-and-league-of-women-voters-defend-irv-in-burlington/

    Also... 40% is only a good level to win if you think it's fine for someone to win who 60% would see as their last choice and fine that voters start abandoning their true first choice out of fear of "spoiling."

    And... that's kinda silly to say that IRV hasn't saved money when the two elections with it both would have gone to runoffs under the old rules IRV replaced.

    My two cents.

     
  • At April 05, 2009 4:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    "Turns out Decelles and others trying to get IRV on the ballot... goofed up."

    How so? All I see in the press release you posted are a slew of logical fallacies, no news about the special election.

     
  • At April 06, 2009 12:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    DUMP IRV

    -Owen

     
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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Duis ligula lorem, consequat eget, tristique nec, auctor quis, purus. Vivamus ut sem. Fusce aliquam nunc vitae purus.