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Sunday, November 15, 2009

Hendersonville: Instant Runoff Voting Process is not reliable

Not everyone likes instant runoff voting after all. An environmental activist in Hendersonville, North Carolina says that instant runoff voting is complicated, short changes the voter and its results do not always reflect the will of the voter.

IRV process not reliable
November 14, 2009 at 10:42 a.m.

To The Editor: I respect the work of the League of Women Voters. Their guest column favoring Instant Runoff Voting, however, begs several corrections.

The Heisman Trophy is not determined by IRV voting. They use a point system. Their system is simpler than IRV and doesn't include IRV elimination. (

IRV is not a "fair, effective method for electing a single winner." Ask Burlington, Vt. After analyzing the voting data for six weeks University of Vermont researchers concluded that the winner lost.


"The IRV process is not complicated." It was in Cary. Cary ditched it after the first try.

IRV doesn't "do everything a runoff system does." A runoff produces a majority vote candidate. If IRV goes to the third and fourth round, you get a candidate with a manufactured majority vote.

Corporations use IRV for single seat elections — secretary, treasurer — not multiple seat elections as in Hendersonville.

Yes, we do need primaries. They winnow the field allowing voters opportunity to more closely scrutinize candidates that will make important decisions.

Do the results reflect the will of the people? That is the goal of every election. With IRV, sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn't and that is the problem.

Eva L. Ritchey


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