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Friday, June 27, 2008

CRITICAL ALERT: Verified Voting threatened, act NOW

This is a CRITICAL action alert. Please share this message with anyone who cares about verified voting and wants to keep our Public Confidence in Elections Law intact. We have voters from every background (liberal, conservative, disabled groups, minority groups) who agree they don't want their votes experimented with, they don't want more confusing ballots, and they don't want the paper ballot law compromised.

Take action now or be sorry later!

Background: The House Election Law Committee will be hearing an amendment to extend the Instant Runoff Voting experiment. The amendment will be in SB 1263. The claim is that we need IRV so we won't have to spend money on expensive low turnout runoffs.

But IRV is expensive! They don't tell lawmakers that. You can't save money with IRV if you plan to educate our nearly 6 million voters, can you?

There is no certified software anywhere in the US to count IRV - IRV will lead to stripping standards from our verified voting law in order to "automate" the counting of IRV with untested, uncertified, illegal software. IRV is too complicated to count by hand! Cary NC miscounted just
3,000 ballots.

The House Election Law Committee will be discussing Luebke's amendment on Wednesday, July 2 at 1:00 PM. Please send an email to the House Election Law Committee and also cc your own lawmakers - its their job to protect their constituents. My email to lawmakers is lower down, you can use it or craft your own. THANK YOU!;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;

House Election Law Committee Members: Chairman Rep. Goodwin, Vice Chairman Rep. Kiser, Vice Chairman Rep. Luebke, Vice Chairman Rep. Ross, Rep. Bryant, Rep. Church, Rep. Current, Rep. Fisher, Rep. Harrison, Rep. Holmes, Rep. Justice, Rep. Lewis, Rep. Martin, Rep. Michaux, Rep. Stam, Rep. Starnes

Subject: S 1263-say no to IRV pilot

Please say no to adding an IRV pilot to S 1263 or any other bill.No more Instant Runoff Experiments. Our votes are too precious. We are told that Rep Luebke will ask to amend SB 1263 to extend the Pilot Program for Instant Runoffs.The title of the bill is "Election Law Amendments" and is here:

If you recall, the previous pilot allowed for 10 cities in 2007 and 10 counties in 2008 to participate. Two cities, Cary and Hendersonville participated, and no counties volunteered. The pilot expired. The people have spoken!

Cary was a disaster: besides the miscounting of the ballots, the provisional votes were mishandled - they were not counted until after the "instant runoff" was run. I don't know how you can "add back in" the provisional ballots after counting all three rounds of votes, do you? In a inner office memo, the State Board of Elections admitted that IRV was too dangerous to try during the May 2008 primary.

In addition to the obvious problems with Instant Runoff (IRV) including that our machines can't handle it, many of our standards for voting systems and vendors would be have to be lowered to allow this experimental voting system. Recounts and auditing elections are exponentially more complex with IRV as well.

Since IRV is being touted as a cost saving measure, it is clear that the State isn't going to appropriate the millions of dollars necessary to educate our nearly 6 million voters.

If the state is anxious to end statewide runoffs, then they could easily abolish them and join about 42 other states who do not have statewide runoffs. Or let the governor appoint the labor commissioner, as happens in 45 other states. Third parties can be helped by making ballot access easier, and considering other voting methods that don't require complex tabulation.

The fact is that IRV is a well intentioned idea that produces unintended consequences, and fails to deliver as promised. It does not save money, is confusing and violates the KISS principle of elections (Keep it Simple). Let some other state work out the many problems with IRV implementation and voter education.

Why does North Carolina have primary runoffs? Most states don't
Kentucky repealed its provision to hold gubernatorial primary runoff elections in April 2008.
IRV disenfranchises everyone. Remember the long time voter in Hendersonville: Oct 19, 2007 Voter finds new system frustrating By Harrison Metzger Times-News. Hendersonville: Bill Modlin wasn't happy with his first experience with the new "instant runoff" voting when he cast his ballot for Hendersonville City Council on Thursday. ..."It doesn't make any sense to me, and I can guarantee you because of the way they have it set up there are people in this town that are going to lose their vote," he said. ..."I call it instant confusion," he said. (Cached) Blue Ridge Now Oct 19. North Carolina, Instant Runoff Voting and the Flying Car Instant Runoff was a disaster in Cary North Carolina On May 6,

15,000 ballots in Wake County and 2,500 in Mecklenburg County were double counted,[1] and 4,000 were omitted in Onslow County.[2] [1]May 8, 2008 Mecklenburg, Wake find vote flaws News 14 Carolina, NC [2]

May 9, 2008 Thousands of votes missed in Tuesday tallies Jacksonville Daily News, NC

Regards; Joyce McCloy NC Coalition for Verified Voting