From: Debra Goldberg
Subject: WARNING - Take Action Now - IRV pilot advancing in NC Senate
Tuesday, July 15, 2008, This is an action alert requiring your immediate attention. (Please share this message, right away, with anyone who cares about verified voting and wants to keep our North Carolina Public Confidence in Elections Law intact.)
Please contact members of the NC State Senate today and tomorrow to let them know that they should NOT with concur SB-1263a in its current form. SB1263a is an omnibus elections bill. The NC House amended SB1263a to extend the piloting of Instant Runoff Voting (IRV). (The bill passed its third reading in the House on July 14, and is before the senate for concurrence on July 15 or 16. If the senate votes not to concur, the bill will be referred to a conference committee.) Tell the senators to stop IRV from further piloting. We don’t want to experiment with or to further complicate our voting system in North Carolina. We need to protect our wonderful public confidence in elections laws by refusing to allow IRV to proceed in North Carolina, thereby keeping elections auditable, verifiable, clean and straightforward.
I served on the Wake County Board of Elections when the first pilot for IRV was held in Wake County – Cary, during last fall’s municipal elections. I am one of only a very few people in NC with direct experience implementing IRV. I am convinced that IRV, even if it saves money, which is highly questionable, is not practical to implement while still protecting the integrity of our votes and voter confidence in our elections. Even with the very few votes we counted in the one small race which went to a runoff during the Cary IRV pilot, complications and questions from the public arose. The process was complex and extremely time and staff intensive. I foresee a logistical nightmare scenario were IRV to be used in an election of a substantial size.
Furthermore, IRV opens the door to pressures to relax our wonderful state standards for voting machinery and software. (IRV votes are counted by hand – there is no acceptable software on which to count IRV). Because counting IRV votes is so complicated, IRV proponents will surely press for allowing uncertified software and undesirable voting machines to be used in North Carolina. We cannot allow this to happen – voting is so important.
IRV seems like an innocent or even good idea on the surface, and is being touted as a convenience and cost saver, but it is not. IRV fundamentally changes many aspects of our voting process, making voting more complicated, more technology dependent, more expensive, more confusing, and less auditable. IRV has changed the outcome of elections and has threatened, if implemented, has the likelihood to further disenfranchise minority candidates and minority voters.
Protecting our democracy by keeping our verified voting standards is not a special or partisan issue. North Carolina voters of every background (republican, democrat, liberal, conservative, disabled groups, minority groups, mainstream groups) agree that we do not want any changes to our voting which may, in any way, compromise the integrity of our votes or which makes the voting process complicated. Please join in our effort to halt IRV in NC.
Contact immediately Senator Martin Nesbitt (919-715-3001 email email@example.com) and your own NC State Senator to look up your own senator's email: http://www.ncleg.net/gascripts/members/memberList.pl?sChamber=Senate
Again, I urge you to squash the efforts to expand or continue Instant Runoff Voting in North Carolina. IRV is expensive and makes our system of voting difficult and complex, opening the door to questions about the integrity of our voting system. We must protect our democracy by protecting the integrity of our votes. I am counting on you to help protect NC voters.
Debra D. Goldberg
Email: dgoldbergvote2008 at earthlink.net