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Sunday, July 6, 2008

Protect North Carolina Elections! Call these lawmakers Monday -Vote is Tues, Instant Runoff Pilot is Flawed

CRITICAL ALERT: Protect Voters and the Public Confidence in Elections Act. Take action now!
Following the low turnout Labor Commissioner runoff, some organizations are promoting "instant runoff"as a solution to the low interest runoffs. Their solution is worse than the problem.

Urgent! On Tues July 8, 10:00 AM the House Judiciary I Committee will hear an amendment in SB 1263 to allow a 3 year Instant runoff pilot. Instant runoff is a well intended reform that does not meet its promise and as written, the pilots do not follow important election laws and protections.

Critical! Call and email the Judiciary Committee before Tuesday JULY 8th: House Judiciary I Committee email addressess, phone numbers and a sample message below.

Phone: Chairman Rep. Ross 919-733-5773, Vice Chairman Rep. Goodwin 919-733-5823 , Vice Chairman Rep. Stam 919-733-2962 , Vice Chairman Rep. Stiller 919-301-1450 , Rep. M. Alexander 919-733-5807, Rep. Blust 919-733-5781, Rep. Bryant 919-733-5878 , Rep. Clary 919-715-2002 , Rep. Hall 919-733-5872 , Rep. Harrison 919-733-5771 , Rep. Holmes 919-733-5654 , Rep. Insko , Rep. Martin 919-733-5758, Rep. Mobley 919-733-5780 , Rep. West 919-733-5859


Subject: SB 1263 - Please say no to the Instant runoff voting pilot

Chairman Rep. Ross, Vice Chairman Rep. Goodwin, Vice Chairman Rep. Stam, Vice Chairman Rep. Stiller, Rep. M. Alexander, Rep. Blust, Rep. Bryant, Rep. Clary, Rep. Hall, Rep. Harrison, Rep. Holmes, Rep. Insko, Rep. Martin, Rep. Mobley, Rep. West

Dear Honorable Judiciary I Committee Members;

Protect Voters and the Public Confidence in Elections Act. Recent Pilots used uncertified software, counted votes away from where they were cast, and counted instant runoff (IRV) votes before provisionals. All violations of our own law, and against best election integrity practices.

Please do not extend pilots as they are currently constructed.
1) The pilot in Cary was very small scale, yet flawed, and many of the real costs were absorbed by volunteers.
2) The proposed pilot does not require safeguards recommended for IRV voting as used in other IRV jurisdictions.
3) The costs of a statewide IRV, especially if there are several affected races are unknown but grossly underestimated and misrepresented by the proponents.
4) The pilot proposes several regressions of our 2005 law that established NC as the leader in honest voting. The most significant regressions are uncertified software and lack of transparency and auditability.
5) IRV may harm the estimated 18% of NC voters with serious literacy

There are other simpler less expensive ways to eliminate costly runoff elections. We can stop having statewide runoffs - 42 states don't have them, do as 45 other states do and appoint the Labor Commissioner , or adjust the thresholds for these elections. Other states have estimated that voter education would cost at least $1.5 million each election year. Third parties can be helped by making ballot access easier, and considering other voting methods that don't require complex tabulation.

Thank you.