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About IRV

Instant runoff voting is a voting system that eliminates several problems found in traditional plurality voting.  It prevents candidates from winning with less than a majority, prevents the “spoiler effect” or “wasted” votes from disenfranchising voters, avoids expensive runoff elections, and promotes more positive, issue-based campaigns.

In an IRV system, voters can rank candidates in order of preference (i.e. Smith for first choice, Jones for second choice, etc.).  If no candidate receives a majority of over 50%, the last-place candidate is eliminated.  That candidate’s votes are then redistributed to the voters’ second choice.

This ensures that a candidate MUST receive the support of over 50% of the voters to win.  It allows people who vote for fringe candidates to select a major candidate as a backup choice, preventing spoilers from splitting the vote.  And since candidates want all voters to rank them as highly as possible, they are less likely to run negative campaigns that alienate another candidate’s supporters.

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