We propose to vote to add a plank to the 2005 Massachusetts Democratic Party Platform, supporting Instant Runoff Voting (IRV). In the platform section concerning Voting Procedures, we propose to add:
Instant Runoff Voting (IRV) allows voters to list their
preferences of the candidates -- in effect, voting for more than one candidate
in a given election. The "instant runoff" part means that, if your
first preference loses, your vote goes to your second preference. The proposed
platform amendment would call for implementing IRV in
Q: Why should Democrats support IRV?
A: If we had an IRV system in the 2000 presidential election, Gore would be president, because most Nader voters would have chosen Gore as their #2 choice.
Q: Would we need new voting machines? Or new ballots?
A: Voters mark their ballots
with choice #1, choice #2, and choice #3, in a regular voting machine. Most
existing voting machines can handle IRV ballots. For the voter, it's as easy as
Q: Isn't this a new and untested system?
Q: Is this relevant to current public policy?
A:: There are three bills in the
Q: What does the Democratic National Committee say about IRV?
A:: Howard Dean supported IRV in his debate against Ralph Nader. Dean debated Nader to persuade people to vote for Kerry instead of voting for Nader -- he says that debate would be unnecessary with IRV:
We wouldn't be having this debate today if we had a system of instant runoff voting in this country. Then Ralph Nader would pose no threat to the election of John Kerry. If we had instant runoff voting, we could have the kind of debates that Ralph wants, open debates, because third parties wouldn't cause those problems. -- Howard Dean, July 2004