Thursday, July 17, 2003

States Leading The Way In Electoral System Innovation - IRV Next?
The California draft Help America Vote Act (HAVA) plan was released on June 17. It has very clear language about promoting compatibility with instant runoff / ranked choice ballots and with cumulative voting. Vermont's draft HAVA report also has strong language about equipment supporting instant runoff voting, and New Jersey's draft HAVA report has language about proportional voting methods in general. See excerpts and links below.

In addition, legislation moving in New York state on voting equipment has clear language on ranked-choice systems. The bill, which passed the assembly on June 19, states that new voting machines must "possess the capacity to, or capacity to be easily modified so as to, provide for ranked order voting and cumulative voting." The senate will take up the bill in the fall.

As we have argued in our national testimony, we believe the case is strong that requiring this capacity when obtaining new equipment is cost-free, while waiting to add it to existing equipment in the future can be very expensive. We believe this is likely true of other potential democratic innovations that are well worth seeking to anticipate in the purchasing stage.

This is great news, and well worth your perusal. We will implement electoral reform, whether the emperors like it or not, and whether they choose to wear clothers or go au natural. This is not a partisan issue. It is to make our democracy work better, and to strengthen our freedom and voice as a people.