Keep RCV (instant runoff)

Rosie's picture

A previous comment here made a bad suggestion -- stopping Ranked Choice Voting (instant runoff). What an awful idea

The critic that it allows only a small percentage of people to pick winners? Hunh? The old December runoff system typically had HUGE drops in turnout -- basically, for any office except mayor. Also, independent expenditures (you know, the kind that the Supreme Court has made so much easier to do) quadrupled, which is why the San Francisco Ethics Commission backed the change to RCV.

Having three rankings is a lot better than none. Sure, in some elections it would be nice to have more than three, and I hope the city gets new voting equipment that makes that possible.But with RCV, the huge percentage of people who rank three candidates have vote for one of the finalists in the last round. But in the old system, you only had one vote in the first round no matter how many candidates. The top two went to a runoff even if more than 50% of people voted for someone else. Then you'd have low turnout.

A better idea - let's expand ranked choice voting to more state and federal elections! Wouldn't it have been nice to have RCV in the 2000 presidential race when Al Gore and Ralph Nader split the majority vote and allowed George Bush to win?

bobbyh's picture

Against IRV

I am on the side of getting rid of our IRV system here in the City and the following video I found on YouTube gives good reason as to why our system here locally disenfranchises people, particularly those that vote for less popular candidates. 


Watch the video and would love to hear people's thoughts:

Eric Jaye's picture



There was not always a drop-off between the Nov. election and the Dec. run-off in the old system. In the 2003 mayor's race - the turnout in Dec. was actually higher. 

I think the cost of the run-off elections is a very small price to pay to make sure we have five weeks to focus and vet the top two candidates. Pretty sure avoiding the cost of prosecuting Ed Jew would have paid for all of the run-off elections of the decade.

ExcelsiorMom's picture


Thanks for you the link to the video. 

I also want to say that if I decide not to vote in a runoff election in December, well that is my choice.  But if my vote doesn't get counted as a result of IRV, that is NOT my choice.  The system is effectively taking my vote away.  And I thought I was guaranteed a vote by our Constitution and laws of the state. 

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