Monday, April 18, 2011

Response To Anti-IRV Article Regarding Hawaii

Here is my response to Rebecca Mercuri's article about IRV in Hawaii:

There is nothing shocking or controversial about instant runoff voting (IRV). It simply means using a ranked ballot so it can be determined who would win a runoff election without having to conduct a second election.

The author is aware of the organization FairVote (, so I'm surprised that she makes several errors in her statements about ranked voting.

For example:

(1) The author's concerns about electronic voting are legitimate. However, a person can be against electronic voting and still support IRV. Ranked voting does not require a computer, and even if a computer is used, the election results can be manually verified by a hand count of the ballots.

(2) IRV is not the same as "proportional representation" (PR). It is true that one method of PR involves ranked ballots, like IRV, however, IRV is used to elect one winner (e.g., in single-member districts), whereas PR is used to elect multiple winners (e.g., in multi-member districts or an at-large city council election).

Let's hope that Governor Abercrombie does NOT veto this bill.