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Why Instant Runoffs Suck 

Wednesday, Nov 24 2010

In the aftermath of this month's election, political analysts are saying that the Bay Area's system of ranked-choice voting, in which voters pick first-, second-, and third-choice candidates for each local office, is causing problems. What might those problems be?

• Voters have to pay more attention

• Ranked-choice voting takes longer to tally, and the Internet can't wait

• The candidate you like doesn't always win

• Not everyone can count to three

• The person who spends the most money sometimes isn't elected

• It discourages candidates from resorting to negative campaigning, which is the only thing voters understand

• It gives fringe voters an opportunity to vote for fringe candidates

• It's harder for pundits to make generalizations about what the voters will do when voters have more choices

• Ranked-choice voting threatens to undermine the two-party system, which is working so well for us

About The Author

Benjamin Wachs


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