Friday, January 13, 2006

Letter from League of Women Voters

This is the language contained in the letter presented by the League of Women Voters at the January 12, 2006, Charter Review Commission Meeting.

January 12, 2006

THE LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS of Tacoma-Pierce County 702 Broadway, Suite 105, Tacoma, WA 98402-3710 (253) 272-1495

Statement submitted by Liz Kurnitz-Thurlow, President of the League of Women Voters of Tacoma-Pierce County to the Pierce County Charter ReviewCommission.

The League of Women Voters of Washington's position on Representative Government states that we support "state election laws allowing for more options for alternative election systems in governmental jurisdictions at both the state and local levels," and that "consideration should be given, when evaluating election systems, to how well they promote 'representative-ness,' citizen participation and accountability."

The League of Women Voters of Tacoma-Pierce County feels that I.R.V.(Instant Run-Off Voting) meets these criteria . It is an alternative election system. As someone ultimately ends up with a majority of the votes, it promotes 'representative-ness', and might even improve citizen participation, as people will get to vote for BOTH the candidate they really want, AND the one they figure could win.

We also feel that pioneering an election system can be very valuable for Pierce County and the whole state; we will determine the strengths and weaknesses, any difficulties, how well it works, and what voter education is necessary. The League would be happy to help with voter education programs.

Our mission statement says that: 'The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan political organization, encourages the informed and active participation of citizens in government, and influences public policy through education and advocacy.'The League Board has voted to support I.R.V. We are proud that our members are in the forefront of this effort.

I urge the Pierce County Charter Review Commission to consider recommending that Pierce County elections use I.R.V. Thank you.

Signed by:Lyz Kurnitz-Thurlow, President League of Womens Voters of Tacoma-Pierce County


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