Sunday, September 25, 2005

Electoral Reform

Mark Trahant in the Seattle P-I advocates a variety of electoral reforms for the state of Washington. He is concerned about the possibility of fraud being greater in absentee voting. This leads him to wanting to back off on permanent absentee voting. He is also advocating requiring voters to show ID to be able to vote. His general concern is about increasing voter faith that the system is not subject to fraud. I share his concern, but think we need to examine throughly the implications of any reform.

Trahant goes on to advocate doing away with the primary and using Instant Runoff Voting for the general election. This would solve the issue faced by election officials about the short amount of time between the primary and general election since there would be no primary.


At 2:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mark sounds like a very anti-voter
-more restrictions on voting (like IDs)
-having to go to voting place takes a lot of time for working folks, so they don't vote.
-Ending primaries would seriously hurt voter influence, causing money to dominate elections even more.

The REAL advantage is that IRV ends the 2-party polarization and also ends the incentive for both fraud AND hostility. Candidates must campaign towards the middle to have any chance of winning an IRV election.

Since the most voters 2nd choice will be similar to their first choice, it means that the 2 candidates ranked on the most total ballots will also have the most similar profiles.

If the 1st and 2nd most ranked candidates have the same positions, there is really no incentive for election fraud.

IRV ENDS election fraud and irregularities. In San Francisco, the difference is almost unbelievable since IRV was adopted. Before, there was almost always weeks of conflict for weeks after each election alleging problems or demanding recounts for close votes.

Since IRV has been adopted, there have been two apparently squeeky-clean elections with no significant complaints or post-election battles over how the ballots were cast/counted/transported/stored/lost/etc.


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