Saturday, June 12, 2010

Fact Checking FairVote instant runoff voting majority claims -again!

FairVote is using their ironically titled blog IRV Fact Check to try to rehabilitate the claim that instant runoff voting will provide a majority: Saturday, June 12, 2010 Rebutting the "Majority Failure" Argument Against IRV

For the sake of accuracy, we are compelled to retrieve the proof that IRV suffers from majority failure. San Francisco recognized that IRV didn't provide a real majority and they even had to change their charter because of that.

Watch this short video to see how IRV failed to provide a majority in several communities, and why:
We blogged about IRV Majority Failure here:


An Instant Runoff Voting Majority is not what you think One of the claims in favor of instant runoff voting is that it provides a majority winner. That is true only if you redefine what "majority winner" means.

In San Francisco,"majority" is of the "continuing" ballots, not a majority of all ballots:

"If no candidate receives a majority of votes from the continuing ballots after a candidate has been eliminated and his or her votes have been transferred to the next-ranked candidate, the continuing candidate with the fewest votes from the continuing ballots shall be eliminated. All votes cast for that candidate shall be transferred to the next-ranked continuing candidate on each voter's ballot. This process of eliminating candidates and transferring their votes to the next-ranked continuing candidates shall be repeated until a candidate receives a majority of the votes from the continuing ballots." SEC. 13.102. - INSTANT RUNOFF ELECTIONS.(D) go to this link and type in the SEC. 13.102 in search box.
And we posted examples of IRV's majority failure in Burlington Vermont, Pierce CO Washington, and Cary, North Carolina with actual vote data here
Also see this report by experts who reviewed the Burlington VT election
Thwarted-majority, non-monotonicity & other failures (oops)
By Anthony Gierzynski, Wes Hamilton, & Warren D. Smith, March 200

And then there's this study of San Francisco, Before IRV and With IRV , see excerpt :
San Francisco elections held by IRV (instant runoff) and ordinary top-2-runoff (T2R) Warren D. Smith Nov 2009
SUMMARY OF IRV ERA: 14 elections looked at.   IRV process actually needed (psuedo-runoff) in 7. Every IRV winner also was a plain-plurality winner. Due to "ballot exhaustion," no IRV winner (on occasions when the IRV process was actually needed) ever got a majority  (i.e. over 50%) of the eligible ballots, in any round, EXCEPT for Ting in the 2005 Assessor-Recorder race.

People are wising up as they learn the truth about IRV. That is why jurisidictions keep ditching IRV: Sunday, May 30, 2010 Instant Runoff Voting rejected by Sunnyvale, Burlington, Pierce Co, Cary. Aspen in Nov?
Rebutting misinformation about instant runoff voting is tedious, but necessary, which is why we set up the website . You can also visit the Center for Range Voting's site, which has many original studies and reports based on actual IRV elections and IRV failures.

For any election reform, it is wise to be skeptical. But in the end, its up to you to try to sort it out.

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