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Saturday, May 2, 2009

Instant Runoff? No. Cary votes to keep traditional runoff elections

The game is over for instant runoff voting in Cary, North Carolina.
Cary Town Council members voted to keep the traditional runoff system stating that it was the best election method to elect the best possible representatives for the people. While instant runoff voting was NOT on the agenda, it was mentioned during the hearing. Council learned in the 2007 experiment that IRV did not perform as advertised. IRV was not "as easy as 1-2-3", did not provide a majority win, and generally reduced the confidence in the elections system.

Cary, North Carolina elections will not be a chess piece in FairVote's game this year. Fair Vote put a pull out the stops lobbying effort against Cary Town Council members. The group had the gaul to send out a national alert resulting in activists from around the US deluging Cary's Council members with emails. No one wants to be the pawn in an outside group's agenda and this effort raised suspicion. One less pawn in big money lobbyists game.

Cary votes to keep current election method
WRAL News Apr. 30 10:53 p.m. Cary, N.C. — The Cary Town Council voted against a proposal Thursday to change the current election method.

The proposal would have changed the town from electing council members from the non-partisan election and runoff method to the non-partisan plurality method.

Under the proposed non-partisan plurality method, a single election would have been held in November, and the candidate who received the highest number of votes for a particular seat would be declared the winner.

The Town used the method until November 2000, at which time the Council moved to the current election and runoff method.

With the current election and runoff method, Cary citizens hold regular elections for the council four weeks before the General Election. The candidate receiving a majority of the votes cast wins.

A majority is defined as half, plus at least one of the votes cast. If no candidate takes a majority of the votes cast for his or her seat, the candidate winning the most votes is declared the winner unless the candidate receiving the second highest number of votes requests a runoff. Then, a runoff is held on the same day as the General Election,and the winner of the runoff wins the seat.
The first election will be held in October and if a run-off is needed it will be held in November.