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City Council Special Elections Won By Non-Majority Winners March 9, 2009

Posted by irvnyc in Uncategorized.
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On February 24th, New York City held special elections for three vacant City Council seats.  Special elections are non-partisan, and each candidate makes up his or her own one-time party label, usually leading to a crowded field.

In all three elections, the winner received under 50% of the vote– and in one case, the vote was so close that the final winner has yet to be determined.  Instant runoff voting would have guaranteed majority winners and prevented the still-ongoing confusion.

In the 49th District (Staten Island), Ken Mitchell, a Democrat running under the “Experience Now” label, apparently received the most votes, with about 39.88%.  The runner-up, Debi Rose, a Democrat running under the “Debi Rose” label, received about 37.64%, separated by only a few hundred votes out of thousands.  Recounts are underway to determine who officially won.

Whoever wins, he or she will have received under 40% of the vote, and cannot claim a majority victory.  There were four other candidates, and with instant runoff voting, their votes would have been redistributed.  This would have led to a clear winner between Mitchell and Rose, and would have shown us which of those two candidates is preferred by most voters.

In the 21st District (Queens), Julissa Ferreras, a Democrat running under the “United We Can” label, won with about 45.80%.  The runner-up, Francisco P. Moya, a Democrat running under the “Yes We Can” label, received about 24.73%.

In the 32nd District (Queens), Eric A. Ulrich, a Republican running under the “People First” label, won with about 45.73%.  The runner-up, Lew Simon, a Democrat running under the “Good Government” label, received about 33.84%.


Instant Runoff Bill Introduced in State Assembly January 27, 2009

Posted by irvnyc in Uncategorized.

In past legislative sessions, New York State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr. has introduced a bill that would allow for instant runoff voting in certain local New York elections.  This year, a similar bill, A03281, has been introduced by Assemblyman Brian Kavanagh.

Assemblyman Thiele’s past IRV bills haven’t made it out of committee.  Notably, Assemblyman Thiele is a Republican in a Democratic-dominated Assembly.  Assemblyman Kavanagh is a Democrat, so his bill may have a better chance.

The bill is currently in the Election Law Committee, whose members are listed here.  If you live in one of these assembly members’ districts, please call or write to them and urge them to approve of Assemblyman Kavanagh’s bill!

To track the status of the bill, see this page.

Mailing List January 26, 2009

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New Yorkers for Instant Runoff Voting now has a mailing list you can join, for announcements and updates:


While this website will still be the primary source for news about IRV in New York, we’ll use the mailing list for occasional announcements and alerts– so please take a moment to sign up!

NY Times Op-Ed Endorses IRV January 26, 2009

Posted by irvnyc in Uncategorized.
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The New York Times ran an op-ed by Rhode Island state representative David Segal, about the process for filling Senate vacancies.  Toward the end of the op-ed, Segal endorses IRV.  You can read the op-ed here.

Update on Candidates January 10, 2009

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New Yorkers for Instant Runoff Voting has contacted candidates for mayor, public advocate, and some city council districts.  We’re working our way through the candidates, one district at a time.

We had been posting blog updates about who’s running, who we’ve contacted, and who’s responded.  Instead, we will be updating that information on the “2009 NYC Candidates” page up above.  We will post about candidates on this blog once we are ready to announce endorsements.

Site Updates January 7, 2009

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We now have our own domain for New Yorkers for Instant Runoff Voting.

Our website can be viewed at http://www.nycirv.com and we can be reached by e-mail at info@nycirv.com.

The old URL and e-mail address will still work.

Update: 2009 Elections December 15, 2008

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New Yorkers for Instant Runoff Voting has been working hard to prepare for its 2009 launch.  Soon, we’ll have a registered political action committee so that IRV supporters can donate to help us push for IRV in New York.  We’re also continuing to update this website with more information.

We are about to begin contacting candidates to determine who supports IRV.  We’ve decided to contact candidates for the following offices:

–public advocate
–city council (all districts)

We believe that these positions can have an impact on implementing IRV in New York City, more so than the comptroller, borough presidents, or district attorneys.

New Yorkers for Instant Runoff Voting: Website Debut November 30, 2008

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Welcome to the new blog for New Yorkers for Instant Runoff Voting, a group that advocates using instant runoff voting in New York elections. This site is a temporary, bare-bones blog that will soon grow into a more comprehensive resource. For now, we have the following goals:


Over the coming weeks and months, NY-IRV will contact every known candidate in the 2009 New York City elections and inquire about their position on IRV. We will endorse pro-IRV candidates for office BEFORE the primary elections, so that voters who support IRV will know who shares their view.

If you’re a candidate in the 2009 New York City elections and you support IRV, please let us know!


This blog will keep people informed about IRV-related developments in New York. This includes the status of the New York State Legislature’s IRV bill, sponsored in the past by Assemblyman Fred Thiele of Long Island and Senator Liz Krueger of the Upper East Side. It also includes any IRV-related events that may occur. If you know of such an event, let us know!


Our goal is to formally organize into an organization that can function as a political action committee.  We then hope to not just endorse, but actively support, pro-IRV candidates, both financially and with volunteer support.


This site will eventually grow to have more information about IRV in general, and about its benefits for New York in particular.  For now, we recommend FairVote’s IRV America site as the best overall resource about IRV.

Look for more updates on a regular basis.  Not all candidates for the 2009 elections have declared yet, but we intend to round up a list of who’s running so far, and contact all of them to inquire about their stance on IRV.