To:       Mass Dems Platform Committee

From:  Jesse Gordon, 1770 Mass Ave., #630, Cambridge MA 02140

            (617) 320-6989

Re:      I.R.V.

            March 7, 2005



I’m testifying today in support of adding a platform plank for Instant Runoff Voting (IRV).


There are several pieces of legislation pending and the platform should outline their purpose. The platform plank should clarify what IRV is, how it works, and what the goal is. At this stage of IRV policymaking, the primary task is educating people about the concept, which is what the platform should focus on. A suggested plank:


“We support experimenting with different Instant Runoff Voting methods at the municipal, district-wide, statewide, and party vote levels. IRV methods allow voters to rank candidates by preference, which removes the possibility of spoilers and encourages under-represented groups to participate in voting.”


I am a candidate in an IRV contest, the “proportional representation” voting method for the Cambridge City Council. I recognize the value of Cambridge’s IRV system in encouraging new challengers and in removing the incentive for negative campaigning.


I think the Massachusetts Democratic State Convention should implement an IRV system at the 2006 nominating convention, and should use it in every convention nomination thereafter.