Sunday, December 7, 2008

2 out of 3 Pierce County RCV "winners" don't have a true majority

Peirce County WA claims to have winners in their RCV races - but were they real majority wins?

It doesn't appear so in more than one race. Here's what happened in the County Executive race:

Round 1

votes % transfer
Mike Lonergan 45330 15.15% -45330
Pat McCarthy 79235 26.49% 12973
Calvin Goings 69052 23.08% 8375
Shawn Bunney 105057 35.12% 13633
Write-In 458 0.15% -458
Total 299132

Exhausted by Over Votes 532 0.17%
Under Votes 13107 4.19%
total under and over 13639 4.36%

Out of a total of 312,771 ballots cast, there were 299,132 votes that were counted. No one got over 50% of the votes. So they dropped out the Mike Lonergan and the Write-In votes, and they counted the 2nd column votes for the remaining three candidates. 10,807 fewer votes were cast in the 2nd column than in the first.

Round 2

votes % % Round 1
Mike Lonergan 0

Pat McCarthy 92208 31.98% 30.83%
Calvin Goings 77427 26.85% 25.88%
Shawn Bunney 118690 41.17% 39.68%
Write-In 0

Total 288325

N9w in the first % column for round 2, they are only calculating percentages for the total runoff 288,325 votes being counted only in this round - not of the 299,132 votes counted in the first round. Using either method, no one still has over 50% of the vote. So they proceed to round 3, where 30,494 were cast than in the 1st column.

Round 3

votes % % Round 1
Mike Lonergan

Pat McCarthy 136346 50.75% 45.58%
Calvin Goings 0

Shawn Bunney 132292 49.25% 44.23%

Total 268638

They are obviously only counting the votes of the top remaining candidates, but they are using the votes of the people who voted for these two candidates from the 1st and 2nd columns. Using the totals for these two remaining candidates, one obviously has a majority of the remaining votes - 50.75% - but this candidate only has 45.58% votes of the original 299,132 cast. Not enough votes to have been declared a winner in the 1st column.

This is the big problem with people claiming IRV ensures a majority win in one election instead of two. if you don't have enough vote to get a majority win in the 1st column, all you are ever going to have is a larger plurality win.

Is a larger plurality win really worth the extra money and confusion? 63% of voters who answered a survey said "no".

But interestingly enough, the top-vote getter in the beginning lost in the end in an IRV election. That is like the 2nd time this has happened in a little over 20 IRV/RCV races. This happens about 33% of the time in traditional runoff elections.

Which do you think is more democratic?

And it happened again in County Assessor-Treasurer race. With the same 312K ballots cast, there were 262,447 votes for 6 candidates plus some write-ins. That is almost 40 thousand voters fewer voters than those who votes in the County Executive race. And I thought IRV/RCV increased voter turnout?

In order to get a true majority, the winner would have needed 131,224 votes. The person who led the race in all 4 rounds "won" the RCV race in the 4th round with 98,366 - 32,858 short of a true majority.

But the County Council, District #2 race was interesting. There were only three candidates, plus a few write-ins. That race only went two rounds - with presumably only the second column votes counted. Out of 43,661 ballots, there were exactly 40,000 votes cast. This makes calculating the majority win threshold very easy - exactly 20,000 votes. After dropping out the write-in and the lowest candidate on the ballot, in the second round the top vote getter Joyce McDonald got 19,967 votes - or 49.92% of the vote. 33 votes short of the majority.

The second-place vote Al Rose getter got12,317 votes. The third candidate Carolyn Merrival and the runoff candidates got the remaining 7716 votes. And even if all of these 7716 voters votes for Al Rose, there is no way Rose could ever beat the top vote getter McDonald - so why did they even bother to count the race - unless they really hoped McDonald would cross the real 50% threshold. Well, that is what happened. McDonald ended up with 21,078 votes - for an honest 52.70% win - not the 55.26% "preferential majority" win from only the votes of the top two vote getters.

Just like here in NC, the second-place actually got more votes in the 2nd column of the ballot than those received by the top vote-getter. But in this race, it was 4747 to 1111. And do the numbers 40,000, 4747, and 1111 bother anyone?

So in two of the three Pierce County RCV races, the first column top vote getter ended up winning. And in the last race, there was no way the second-place finisher could have overtaken the leader, so why bother with RCV? Even though Rose got 4 2nd column votes to every one received by McDonald, Rose couldn't overcome the 1st column lead McDonald had going into the second column. Do the math - there was no way that Rose could have overtaken McDonald with an RCV race.

But had there been an traditional runoff election among McDonald and Rose, there is a good chance that the people who voted for the third-place and write-in candidates would have overwhelmingly voted for Rose.

This is one way that you could avoid a traditional runoff election by re-writing the statutes to allow someone ahead by a large enough margin to not need a runoff election. even if they didn't have a majority win. Because so far, IRV didn't give a true majority win in 2 out of 3 Pierce County RCV races. If you are just going to declare a plurality win a majority win by ENRON-style accounting, why not just lower the threshold?

Chris Telesca

63% of Pierce County WA voters don't like Ranked Choice Voting that cost $4.14 per registered voter

Results are in: 63 percent disliked Ranked Choice Voting
Auditor defends ranked choice
Published: December 6th, 2008 12:05 AM | Updated: December 6th, 2008 01:45 AM

90,738 Pierce County voters answered a questionnaire included with their ballots that asked, “Did you like this new Ranked Choice Voting method?”
The results:
Yes: 29,206 (32%)
No: 56,751 (63%)
Undecided: 4,781 (5%)

Pierce County spent a lot of money on a new voting method for a few county offices in November’s election, and most voters didn’t like it a bit.

Auditor Pat McCarthy said ranked-choice voting will cost county taxpayers about $1.7 million, which is half of the overall $3.4 million it cost to put on the 2008 general election.

Although Pierce County voters changed the county charter last year to allow the new voting method, it appears they’ve changed their collective mind. Two of three voters who responded to a survey were opposed to the concept.

“It was overwhelming,” McCarthy told members of the state Senate Government Operations and Elections Committee on Friday. “The majority did not like it.”

That was based on nearly 91,000 voters who filled out a questionnaire that accompanied mail-in ballots.

Ranked-choice voting, sometimes called instant runoff voting, allowed voters to indicate their first, second and third choice in a race. If no candidate gets more than 50 percent of the total number of votes in the first round of counting, the second choice on ballots of the last-place candidate are then counted. That continues until one candidate finally gets a majority.

McCarthy, who won a close election in a four-way race for county executive, joined election officials from Yakima and Chelan counties to give state lawmakers a report on the election. The state used online voter registration, and 37 of the 39 counties – all but King and Pierce – conducted their elections entirely by mail.

Pierce was the only county to use ranked-choice voting, and for only a few county races. Pierce voters got a second, conventional ballot to vote for president, governor, Congress and local races.

McCarthy said she considered the election “an amazing success,” even though she didn’t care much for the new method. She said the computer system and algorithms worked and that most voters understood how to fill out the ballots.

State Sen. Pam Roach, R-Auburn, a committee member, took issue with that assessment.

“How can you say it was a success when voters didn’t know who the executive was for two weeks?” Roach asked. “That absolutely was a disaster.”

Processing ranked-choice ballots did slow down the tally, McCarthy said, but the method had nothing to do with how close the races were. Her own race for executive wasn’t decided until three weeks. But McCarthy pointed out that a couple of legislative races were so close that even using conventional voting methods, they required a recount and weren’t decided until earlier this week.

The decision to adopt the new voting method was approved by 53 percent of voters. McCarthy said she thinks voters were eager to switch to something else because they were still angry about the previous election when they were forced to pick a Democratic, Republican or other political party’s slate of candidates.

She said she hopes the County Council will give voters a chance to reconsider the charter amendment that created ranked-choice voting.

Susan Eidenschink, treasurer of the Tacoma-Pierce County League of Women Voters, blamed the long lines at the polls on Election Day on McCarthy’s decision to have fewer polling places.

“We’re interested in seeing it expanded,” she said of ranked choice. “We feel it definitely deserves more of a trial than this one election.”

Krist Novoselic, chairman of FairVote, echoed that sentiment. The former Nirvana bassist is now a local government official in rural Wahkiakum County and said he’s worked to get Memphis, Tenn., and Telluride, Colo., to try ranked-choice voting.

Committee chairwoman Sen. Darlene Fairley, D-Lake Forest Park, said she’s been listening for years to people and groups who are supporters of the new voting method, but she has no interest in seeing it extend beyond the borders of Pierce County.

“I’m with those folks who said they were confused,” Fairley said.

“This sounds just insane,” said Sen. Eric Oemig, D-Kirkland, a committee member.

Joseph Turner: 253-597-8436

Let's see - Pierce County had 411,103 registered voters for the November elections. Divide $3.4 million by 411,103 gives you $8.27 per registered voter. RCV cost them $1.7 million or $4.14 per registered voter.

Using the number of registered voters in NC obtained from the SBOE at, multiply 6,286,207 registered voters times $4.14 and that gives you almost $26 million to do IRV in North Carolina in statewide races - not free or even as cheap at IRV supporters have claimed.

This is even more expensive than the cost estimates from three MD legislature fiscal studies ranging from $3.08 to over $3.50 per registered voter - not including costs for software and hardware that Peirce County supposedly used for their RCV race.

So how is doing a separate statewide runoff at $3.5 to $5 million across the state more expensive than doing IRV/RCV?

Chris Telesca

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Raleigh, NC overwhelmingly endorses Approval voting!

Met up with some friends last night at the Flying Saucer. It was "glass night" and you could vote for a presidential candidate (Obama or McCain) by buying their glasses. You could buy more than one, so I guess this was "approval voting" night at the Saucer - no IRV for these people.

The voting commenced at 7PM, and Obama had the lead until we left, varying between 58% to 60%. A crew of Obama volunteers came in. A McCain team came in, consisting of a rather constipated-looking young man and two Cindy McCain clones. We were surrounded by McCain supporters - some of whom couldn't believe that two small business owners (Jesse and myself) could possibly be Obama supporters.

Some Libertarians came in and were pissed there were no LIB glasses, or write-ins. You could recognize them because one looked like he lived in a cabin in the woods for years, and the other wore a "Munger for Gov" t-shirt.

When we left at 8:50, it was 223 Obama to 142 McCain. At closing time last night (verified by me by phone), and the result was 251 Obama to 187 McCain - Obama lead through the night and defeated McCain by 57%-43%

I am taking that as a good sign - and an endorsement of approval voting that produced an actual majority winner with no one arguing about it! No one needed a calculator to figure out who won, there was no complicated sorting of glasses, where some of them might break (so they wouldn't get counted), and no calculator error. No one came in and faked an accent or asked leading questions to get you to buy a glass or two or more.

This was a ringing endorsement of Approval Voting over traditional first past the post and IRV since no one objected to being able to cast as many votes as they wanted to. Money was not a factor in the Obama victory - no deep-pocket Republican came in and bought enough glasses for themselves or for other voters to keep up with Obama - there was just not enough interest in McCain to justify that sort of election trickery.

And even though there were only two glasses, there was plenty of choice to go around - you bought the glass, but could put any one of 200+ beers in the glass. So there were no crybabies bitching about not having choice or how people couldn't vote their hopes and dreams. Everybody supported the candidate and drank the beer of their choice!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Interesting pro-IRV site that talks about problems with centrallized processing of IRV ballots

Did more searching of google using "IRV sucks" as my search criteria, and this popped up - for general site, and this particular link for hand counting IRV:

5.5. How could you do a hand count for IRV?
If you have all the ballots in one place, it's easy. Separate the ballots into counted piles according to the first choice marked. If no one pile is 50%, take the smallest pile, cross out the first choice on those ballots, and redistribute. If any have no choices left, put them in an "exhausted" pile. Continue the process until one candidate's pile is over 50% of the ballots NOT in the "exhausted" pile.

The problem is that you have to have all the ballots in one place. You can transmit them physically or electronically, but you need every individual ballot. However you transmit them, it's an opportunity for fraud or incompetence.

If you don't have the ballots in one place, you can do the first count, transmit the results to a central location, wait until everyone else finishes and the results are all in, recieve the word of who to eliminate, recount those ballots, retransmit the results, wait again... It's a lot of chatter back and forth, and a lot of waiting for the slowest counter, not just once, but several times.

This is one of the biggest problems that I see with IRV in North Carolina or anywhere else - the fact that vote counting will now rely on central processing, not just central reporting. This seems to make sense for paper ballots, but here's where it gets much more difficult if not do you do the manual counts, recounts and audits of IRV elections?

5.11. So using the same mathematical language in Arrow's theorem, what are the flaws in IRV? In VOTE-123?

Both of them have problems with independence of irrelevant alternatives (IIAC). This means that they can be manipulated by controlling the pool of candidates. It also means that the voters can change the results by strategically ignoring (down-ranking) certain candidates who have no chance.

5.12. Wait a minute. Up above you say that under VOTE-123 "You can always vote honestly, period." But here you seem to be contradicting that by saying that no voting system can be perfect that way.

OK, you caught me. There's a theorem related to Arrow's theorem (the 'Gibbard-Satterthwaite theorem') that shows that there is no voting system without some strategy - that is, some situation where an omniscient voter could vote dishonestly and thus increase their satisfaction. But just as you can mathematically prove that there's always a situation like that, you can mathematically prove that (especially given the right tiebreaker) under VOTE-123 it is always too risky to try it. Specifically:

Strategic voting only works under VOTE-123 if, either before or after the strategic changing of votes, there is a "Condorcet tie" - what I've been calling a three-way tie. This situation is very rare - as I said, it involves nearly-balanced voting blocs which not only disagree about which candidate is better, but also about which candidates are similar to each other. Most especially, it is very, very hard to predict accurately using polls. Most people will never make the effort to reliably tell pollsters who their second choice will be, and in such a closely-balanced situation the tiniest polling error could throw off the poll's results. And if you switch around your vote based on a poll that's wrong, you're more likely to end up hurting than helping yourself - especially since your plans will probably leak out and people can plan a counterstrategy.

So, you can still say it categorically: under VOTE-123, there is never a good reason to vote strategically.

And from the same source - they claim that FairVoteSF coughed up $87,000 to push the pro-IRV Proposition A in 2002.

2.5.2. San Francisco, 2002: IRV vs. Lobbyists
For a more modern case, I plan to do an analysis of the San Francisco vote on Prop A (to use IRV in city elections) which passed in 2001. There were two committees against Prop A: one small committee of honest skeptics, and one that was run by Jim Sutton, the guy who's the lawyer for all the big-money campaigns in San Francisco. He used his whole bag of shady tricks to run a last-minute lying smear campaign without having to disclose anything about his funding until long after the election is over. (Once his funding disclosures come out in August 2002 and I have time to analyze them, I'll give you the details.)

Preliminary numbers from the Department of Ethics Forms 460: "No on A", a small committee formed by some people honestly suspicious of that the SF department of elections couldn't handle IRV, had a total budget of about $500.

It's easy to understand why some people felt that San Francisco Dept. of Elections couldn't handle IRV. One posting on here from the FairVote site shows they had doubts that SF could handle IRV in 2004! And it really hasn't gotten any better - between the reports that San Francisco still doesn't have a certified method to tabulate IRV votes, the civil grand jury that states there are still voter education problems after 4 IRV elections, as well as the month's-long IRV tabulation - they still have much to work out after 4 IRV elections.

Do we really want to buy into all that hassle? We must investigate cheaper and less complicated alternatives to IRV to deal with the occasional need for runoff elections. San Francisco has proved IRV isn't the way for NC to do it.

"San Franciscans for Voter Rights", an anti-IRV PAC formed by a big-time downtown lobbyist, declared in the last 16 days before the election to try to get around reporting requirements, sent out lying hit pieces using about $77,000. This originally came entirely from downtown businesses, most of it came funnelled through big PACs (such as $61,000 from the "committee on JOBS") which have a long term reputation for backing corporate-written bills (for instance, insurance industry bills, etc.).

If you add up the other contributions of those same large PACs to various "voter guide" organizations (the "so-and-so Democratic club", etc.) which all conveniently had a "No on A" stance, there are over $100,000 EXTRA (in addition to the amounts above). There were obviously other issues on the ballot, but given the way many of these "voter guides" highlighted their measure A "NO" with bold face, I think that it's fair to count at least 10% of this as anti-A money; so count this as another $10,000

Add in 1/2 of the $32,000 staff expenses, January-March, for "San Francisco Chamber of Commerce 21st Century Fund", which although it is supposed to be a "general" lobbying organization took up no other issues in this race: another $16,000

Total anti-A money: over $100,000

For balance, the pro-a money:

"Fair Vote SF", a pro-A group, got $87,000 from small contributions from individuals, most (about $55,000) of it funneled through national or state PACs that see voting reform as important (primarily Center for Voting and Democracy).

Using the same analysis as above (what else did the pro-A PACs do with their money?) there is no extra money to report. Obviously there were pro-A "voter guides", but these voter guides did not get money from clearly pro-A PAC's. Not surprising: generally, the forces of good have simpler accounting practices than the forces of evil. (For full disclosure - the CVD did give $2,713 to "Matt Gonzalez for Supervisor")

Total pro-A money: $87,000

Pro IRV sources in FL claim that FairVote contributed thousands if not tens of thousands in money and staff time to push IRV in Sarasota. I wonder how much they spent to push IRV in general and in Cary and Hendersonville in particular that never got included in the cost of implementing IRV?

Monday, September 1, 2008

They knew in Vertmont back in 2006 that IRV wasn't all it was cracked up to be!

After all the depressing stuff on Gustav today, I decided to have some fun. I googled "IRV sucks" and came up with some fascinating stuff. One of them was this entry in the Vermont Daily Briefing from May 2, 2006 -

Here is an excerpt:

During Burlington’s last mayoral election — the city’s first use of Instant Runoff Voting — Political Science professor Tony Gierzynski mobilized an army of exit-pollers and gathered massive amounts of data.

This data he then crunched. Crunched it real good.

It took a great deal of time and foresight, but the results were utterly unique: no one had done such a study anywhere in America.

This is true - they sure as hell haven't done anything like that in NC. And I don't see anything in the study where they tolerate a paid IRV advocate doing the survey work, both deviating from their instructions and faking a southern accent.

So I went to the survey - located at and, as usual, I went to the end where the juicy stuff is. Here is some of it:

The relationship between education levels and awareness and understanding of the IRV ballot in our exit poll is similar to the findings of the exit poll conducted during San Francisco’s recent experience with IRV (see discussion above) and is one of the main concerns with this method of voting. As the experience of Florida in the 2000 presidential election demonstrated, certain voters are likely to have enough difficulty with complex ballots so that their votes do not end up counting. The percentages of people who were unaware of IRV or found the ballot confusing in the Burlington election were low even for the lowest levels of education (undoubtedly due to the City of Burlington’s effort to educate voters on IRV). The number of confused voters represented by those percentages, however, would be much greater in elections in larger cities or in statewide contests. Additionally, the higher level of voter turnout in statewide elections means that a larger proportion of the electorate would be composed of groups that, according to both our results and those of the San Francisco exit poll, had more difficulty with IRV, namely, those with lower levels of education. To illustrate, the percent of eligible voters casting ballots for governor in Vermont in 2004 was 65.1%25 compared to the 30.3% turnout in the 2006 mayoral election in Burlington. Only 12% of voters in Burlington’s mayoral election had a high school degree or less, while 26% of voters in the 2004 presidential election had a high school degree or less.26 Because they represent the group that had the most difficulty with IRV, a higher percentage of voters with a high school degree or less would undoubtedly inflate the percentage, as well as the number of those uninformed about IRV and/or confused by it. In other words, there is a good possibility that the difference among voters based on education levels would be intensified in an election with a higher voter turnout.

Here is a place where IRV advocates point to success in IRV elections, yet a study done in their own version of the Institute of Government shows there is a good possibility that IRV could cause voters with less education to become confused by the IRV ballot.

So what did that report conclude?

The exit poll results do, however, raise a couple of concerns about IRV. There appear to be both education and partisan differences in the reaction to IRV. The relative lack of awareness and confusion voiced by those with lower levels of education suggests that IRV has the potential to engender some inequities in the electoral process based on class. The partisan divide found on IRV in Burlington — Progressives and Democrats liking the system, Republicans disliking it — poses a problem for the perceived fairness of elections and the legitimacy of those elected.

While a sound argument can be made that IRV functions in a manner to select candidates based on majority preferences, the minority party may see it as an unfair changing of the rules of the game that deprives them of a chance of winning when their opposition is in such disarray as to offer multiple candidates. Were any of the potential voting paradoxes discussed above to arise in an election (especially if a Republican candidate had the lead in the 1st round and lost after the second round) there would surely be attacks on the legitimacy of that election in the press. Then there will be a real test of the public's understanding of IRV.

Other questions remain to be answered regarding the effect of IRV elections. It is unknown how IRV affects campaigning. It may ensure more congenial elections since candidates would not want to alienate any potential 2nd place votes from supporters of their opponents. But, it could also make it so candidates play down their policy differences for the very same reason—not wanting to alienate any potential 2nd place votes—making it less clear to the voters what their choice really means in terms of governance. Nasty campaigning, it should also be noted, could simply go underground as it may have in the Burlington mayoral contest. It also remains to be seen how IRV affects voters’ decisions. Despite claims of its supporters to the contrary, IRV does allow for, and even encourages strategic voting (as opposed to pure preference-based choices). What voters’ strategy would be and how it might differ from their calculus in the typical single-vote system used in the US is unknown, as is the way that such differences might affect the outcome of elections.

In the end, elections are about building governing majorities. IRV offers an opportunity to have an electoral majority without doing the hard work and compromise necessary to build it. How that dynamic might affect the ability of elected officials to govern is a whole other matter to be seen.

Recent readings of mine suggest that IRV could exacerbate the problems we are having getting a census government - it could lead to a "balkanization" of American politics and make matters worse, not better. Why should we experiment with a voting method that might make matters worse, not better.

That is why this voting activist doesn't favor experimenting with votes using IRV to see if it can be made to work. The laudable goals of IRV could be achieved without all the risks that even the NC State Board of Elections knew were posed by IRV way back in March 2007 - even before the first communities were considering taking part in the first round of the pilot program.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

MASS IRV koolaid drinker claims to know that IRV was a success here in NC!

Folks - there are so many people out there who claim to know that IRV worked really well in NC who were nowhere near Cary when they cast or counted votes. Here's a blog from a guy in Mass - - who claims to know how well IRV worked from videos created by FairVote and the exit poll managed by Bob hall from DemocracyNC and done by people ranging from real volunteers to the former IRV America Director from FairVote who admitted faking a southern accent when she interviewed voters (I believe it's her voice and/or arm in the video).

So I responded to his first posting and he replied to that. I tried to respond, but was unable to do so. Check out and see what he wrote in response to me and see my response he wouldn't let me post to his blog.

Greg - my statements are not misleading or false. There was no objective measure of IRV success in North Carolina that was established before the elections. That is one reason why the Raleigh City Council didn't want to pilot IRV - there was concern that we wouldn't know if it worked or not.

And actually my truthful and hard-hitting arguments against IRV have been very successful where both sides of the issue have been presented to decision makers before they took their vote. In Raleigh, where the pro-IRV presenters outnumbered me 4 to 1 (and greater odds if you counted the pounds), no one in the Raleigh City Council wanted to pilot IRV after I got done. When both sides were heard, IRV went down in flames.

So pro-IRV people started to sneak around and talk to elected officials behind closed doors for weeks and months before they took a vote. So of course they voted to use IRV - they only heard one set of facts. That is how they got Cary and Hendersonville to go along.

Greg, you seem like an intelligent fellow even though you have obviously drunk the IRV kool-aid. It two educated and intelligent fellows like us can't even agree on how to count IRV votes and if IRV was a success, how do you think that the less educated and less literate voters in my state or other states will be able understand IRV? They won't understand it and if they don't understand it they won't bother to rank candidates if they do show up, or they won't show up at all. IRV is already turning into a math literacy test for college educated voters - it will be even worse for the voters who will show up to the polling places and not know they were expected to rank their choices in the first place.

The program didn't replace the runoff - it was a one-time experiment. Cary will have a traditional elections in 2009 unless they vote to pilot IRV again in 2009. Since Julie Robison, who originally supported IRV, not longer supports IRV, I doubt they will be able to get the votes to pilot it again.

And I never mentioned that the program was extended due to its success. Please do not put words in my mouth. IRV supporters claimed it was a success. Legislators never had the chance to fully debate how IRV worked in 2007. But it should be mentioned that even before the Cary Town Council voted to participate in the pilot, the NC State Board of Election knew in March 2007 that IRV would not be used in the 2008 election because it posed risks. What those risks are, they never said. And unfortunately for NC voters, most of our legislators were too incurious to ask what those risks were. The amendment to extend the pilot was submitted at the last minute, with no time to fully study the 2007 pilot.

Now you are deliberately trying to confuse people. You can't say that IRV ensures a majority winner of the non-exhausted ballots because if there are ANY non-exhausted ballots you still have to count them. You can't declare a winner if you still have votes to count!

You are wrong with your assertion that absentee and no-shows are not counted when determining the majority. Either IRV determines a majority winner by a number that is determined by the first column votes (a number which doesn't change because it has to include all the votes cast for the top two in the first column) or you are manufacturing a majority out of a plurality win by not counting all the ballots cast.

You can't compare people who don't cast second or third round choices to people who don't show up for a traditional runoff because in that race you don't carry forward the votes from the first election. And you are wrong in stating that claiming that ballots exhausted after the first or second columns aren't counted in the denominator when determining the majority - that is how it's done in San Francisco. You can not not use 3022 as a denominator in determining the majority because you are carrying the first column votes forward. If you kept the votes for the top two and changed the denominator, you really are advocating ENRON-style vote counting methods. What would you have the denominator be at the end of the second and third column tabulations?

The majority in the Cary race was based on the 3022 ballots cast in that race. A non-exhausted ballot is one that can still be counted. By the time Don Frantz got his 1401 votes, all the votes had been counted - there were no more that could be counted for him. But he still didn't have the 50% plus one vote (or 1512 votes) out of 3022 in order for him to win.

Going by your thought process, had there been no winner at the end of the first round, and only one total second or third column vote cast for either one of the two remaining candidates, you would still have a winner with only one more vote cast. You are essentially taking a plurality and manufacturing it into a preferential majority.

But one thing that I don't get about IRV supporters is that most won't admit that IRV does not always ensure a majority winner in all elections. Some do - and they did that in the legislation to use IRV for student elections at NCSU. Their IRV bill can be found at

§103. Requirements for Enactment of Preferential Balloting.
All statutes or other acts enacting preferential balloting for an elective contest shall indicate one of the following preferential balloting methodologies to be used:
(a) “IRV Majority” is §201 Instant Run-off Voting conducted with a §301 Full Preference Ballot. It is applicable to single winner races requiring majority election.

§301. Full Preference Ballot.
On any elective contest using a Full Preference Ballot, to cast a legal ballot the voter must rank all choices presented on the ballot. If a write-in allowed in the contest and used by the voter, the voter must rank it in addition to the choices presented on the ballot.

Only a full preference ballot ensures that in IRV/STV allocation, every ballot has a place to be allocated in every round. Otherwise, ballots may become exhausted and unallocated, potentially resulting in no majority or Quota in the final round.

They do require a full preference ballot - meaning that you have to rank every candidate in every race for any of your votes to be counted. In real adult elections in the USA, we don't force you to vote a full ballot in order for your votes to be counted. But at NCSU they take the total number of ballots submitted and that becomes the denominator from which a majority must be received in order to declare a winner using this method.

§201. Allocation Under Instant Run-off Voting.
Under Instant Run-off Voting, each vote shall be initially allocated to the highest preference on the voter’s legal ballot. If no candidate or option has votes equal to or greater than a majority of legal ballots, votes will be reallocated as further provided by this section. Reallocation shall proceed by determining the candidate or option with the least amount of votes as currently allocated, and then reallocating each of that candidate’s or option’s votes to the next remaining preference on each ballot that was a source of votes. Ties for least amount of votes shall be broken as provided by §211. Reallocation shall be repeated until a candidate or option has votes equal to at least a majority of legal ballots in the contest, and is thereby declared winner. No vote shall be allocated to a candidate or option previously eliminated.

But at NCSU they take the total number of ballots submitted and that becomes the denominator from which a majority must be received in order to declare a winner using this method. They don't keep changing the denominator as your statement would suggest is done in ballots where there are no second or third column votes to be tallied.

§221. Occurrence of Traditional Run-off Election under IRV.
For §201 Instant Run-off Voting in contests requiring a majority of votes to be elected, a traditional run-off election must be ordered when, due to exhaustion of preference ballots, no candidate receives a majority of votes in the final allocation round. Such run-off shall be conducted with the last two (2) candidates or options remaining in the allocation round, and shall use a non-preference ballot.

When IRV is used with a partial preference ballot, preference exhaustion may occur, necessitating an additional election to obtain a majority. This cannot occur with a full preference ballot except in the unusual case of write-in candidates reaching the final allocation round.

But where you don't require full preference balloting, you see it right there- preference exhaustion can occur. It did occur in Cary - 1401 votes is not the 50% plus one vote (or 1512 votes) of the 3022 votes cast and counted in the first round of the Cary District B race. At least at NCSU, the students admit that IRV won't always ensure a majority win by the time all the ballots are exhausted. it's a shame the adults who pushed IRV couldn't do that in Cary.

For those voters who show up at the polling places on election day and didn't know beforehand they were supposed to rank their choices, what is left for them to do? Going by the less than professionally conducted NC exit polls, 25% of Cary voters and 33% of Hendersonville voters had this problem. In San Francisco, about a third of the voters showed up not knowing they were expected to rank their choices in 2004 - it was almost HALF the votes the next year.

What would you have those voters do? Either donkey vote for candidates they know nothing about just to keep them from having to come back for the runoff when they might possibly have taken the time to learn about the remaining candidates, or just not count ANY of their votes? Either choice hardly seems democratic.

I have been curious about that - the Secretary who signed that letter wasn't even the secretary when IRV was used in Cary. She has no experience with IRV to know about the costs and transparency. The Chair has been pushing IRV for a long time, with some of his travels sponsored by FairVote (according to a statement he made at a legislative hearing in another state). He has made many less than accurate statements about the benefits of IRV, and has contradicted himself many times. It's just too bad that most members of the Fourth Estate haven't taken the time to check the facts before they coble up a story out of a press release.

Debra Goldberg, the secretary of the Wake BOE during the IRV pilot, totally backs up my claims. She was one of only 4 county election administrators in one county out of NC's 100 counties to have any direct experience tabulating IRV ballots. Her op-ed piece titled "Instant Runoff Voting is no solution, says election official who was there" can be found here:

There is nothing misleading about what I have posted. You weren’t even here to know what happened. There is no proof that the NC Legislature has any knowledge that IRV saved money, boosted turnout or was a success. There was no debate on those topics - they were asked at the very end of the legislative session to extend the pilot. And they only did so after first amending the extension by requiring that goals, standards and criteria for the implementation and evaluation of the pilot be developed consistent with NC election law - because there was A LOT of concern that the first pilot wasn't done accurately and/or lawfully. The new law states that if IRV can't be done consistent with our tough election laws - it won't be done.

And if there are some NC voters and editorial boards see IRV that way, it's not because they really know anything about what actually happened. They just happened to be hustled by the very well-funded IRV advocacy groups that spent tens of thousands of money and staff time into pushing IRV in NC with no verifiable way to determine if it worked or not. Taking a press release and turning it into a story or an op-ed piece, or publishing a ghost-written op-ed piece doesn't prove that IRV works.

Op-ed from Asheville: IRV "is no solution, says election official who was there"

Finally - here is an op-ed piece from former Wake BOE member Debra Goldberg - who was on the BOE when Cary piloted IRV last year.

Thanks to the publishers and editors of the Asheville Citizen-Times for publishing something from an elections administrator with a verified voting point of view, and not the usual IRV "love letters".

The only way to really make sure that IRV is done right is not to cut the corners that were cut from the get-go with IRV. That is why the General Assembly decided to pass an IRV pilot extension without giving supporters the blank-check they have always wanted. Legislators required two things to extend the pilot: one - to require communities to approve participating in the pilot, and to require development of a voter and candidate education plan; and two - to require the development of goals, standards and criteria for implementation and evaluation of IRV that are consistent with NC election laws. It remains to be seen if IRV can be piloted according to the law, and should it be used even if it can be piloted according to the law.

A full debate on election reforms should take place before we make any changes to our election systems. We had such a full debate after the Carteret County fiasco, and the result was some new elections laws held up as a model across the nation and that got NC a number one rating on ensuring accurate vote counting by the non-profit Brennan Center. We need one of those debates and full oversight on our elections - they are too important to "wing it" with risky voting methods like IRV.

Chris Telesca

Instant Runoff Voting is no solution, says election official who was there

Debra Goldberg • published August 27, 2008 12:15 am

I was a Board of Elections official in Wake County during the Instant Runoff Voting (IRV) pilot in Cary in October 2007. As one of only three officials in North Carolina to have administered an IRV runoff, I can tell you that John R. Hudson Jr.’s guest commentary, “Don’t be misled; N.C. has one of the best election systems in the country,” (AC-T, Aug. 14), contained incorrect claims about instant runoff voting in North Carolina and improperly discredited statements made by voting integrity activist Joyce McCloy.

Hudson states that the voting machines handled IRV well “in the two elections in which it was used.” Untrue — no machines have been used for counting instant runoff votes in North Carolina and cannot be used because no certified software exists that can count IRV votes. Furthermore, the Hendersonville election did not trigger an instant runoff. In Cary, in which one race triggered an instant runoff, the IRV votes were counted by hand. N.C. Board of Elections Voting Systems Manager Keith Long verified in writing that, “The EAC has not approved any software. There is no software available for the ES&S equipment to count IRV voting!” ES&S is the only voting machine manufacturer certified in North Carolina.

Many problems

The Cary election was only about 3,000 votes, yet the process was labor-intensive, difficult to monitor and observe and resulted in incorrect vote counts. The discrepancies were reconciled using hand recounting, done by staff members after the official count. These errors were not, as Hudson states, “easily spotted and quickly corrected.” I can’t imagine the onerous amount of time, resources, space and personnel that might be needed were we to hold an IRV election of any significant size, nor the numerous and potentially irreconcilable discrepancies a large IRV runoff would likely cause.

Hudson states, “North Carolina is known nationwide as one of the foremost election systems in the country” and attributes this to “being innovative, using cutting-edge equipment and thoroughly training our election staff and boards…”. I agree that N.C. is exemplary in many ways as it pertains to voting. I disagree as to the reasons. Cutting-edge equipment does not make for the best elections and creates opportunities for compromising voting integrity. This concern led Joyce McCloy and many other citizen activists to lobby the legislature to pass our voter integrity laws. As a result, N.C. now requires that every vote have a paper trail, in clear recognition of the fallibility and vulnerability of “cutting- edge equipment” used in voting.

Strong evidence refutes claims such as Hudson’s that “Voters in the two counties who had IRV in their city elections were overwhelmingly happy with it and had no trouble understanding it.” In the Cary IRV pilot, I can tell you that many voters left their backup choices blank, and that many other voters wrote in backup candidates with names such as “Mickey Mouse” and “Donald Duck.” This is direct evidence that many voters did not understand or accept IRV. Candidates involved in the IRV pilot in Cary have voiced doubts about the process.

Integrity of the process

Although many people, including some election officials, seem eager to embrace IRV, and some have been zealously vocal in their support of IRV, it is important to recognize that these same people often ignore and misconstrue the facts which are most important to those of us who are concerned, above all, with the integrity of each and every vote and with the confidence of all voters that their votes are counted fairly and accurately. It is important, when assessing the IRV issue to recognize these key points:

1. We cannot reasonably count IRV until we have certified software. Hand counting, as we must do now, consumes many man-hours and resources, and is error-prone.

2. The push to computerize IRV will surely result in pressure to weaken our exemplary certification requirements and standards.

3. There is no proof that IRV saves money. The costs for necessary machinery and software, increased voter assistance and voter education and other associated costs would, likely, negate cost savings from elimination of runoffs.

4. IRV violates a basic principle when dealing with masses of people — KISS — Keep It Simple …

We should resist IRV until straightforward, verifiable, reliable, auditable, certified systems are available to count IRV votes. Only then should we perform pilots while making sure that they are well documented and carefully evaluated. To responsibly address the issue of costly runoffs, let’s use our North Carolina “innovation” to come up with safe, trustworthy alternatives to IRV. North Carolina voters deserve the most accurate and reliable voting system available, without compromise, for any reason.

Debra D. Goldberg is a former member of the Wake County Board of Elections. She lives in Raleigh--

Saturday, August 2, 2008

NC Voters - please sign this new petition!

Make sure to check out and sign my Petition to Support Election Integrity by waiting until we have legal procedures to pilot IRV in NC! at

Actual Petition Language:

We the undersigned oppose any attempts by the North Carolina State Board of Elections, County Boards of Election, and any IRV advocacy groups to promote IRV and/or select communities to pilot IRV until goals, standards and criteria consistent with general election law are developed for implementation and evaluation of the IRV pilot program.

Monday, July 7, 2008

All is not well with the IRV elections in San Franscisco

IRV advocates are pushing IRV in North Carolina and pointing to successes in places like San Francisco. However, IRV is not doing as well as they would like you to believe.

A new report on the conditions of San Francisco’s elections dept was just released on July 3, 2008. That report also noted several problems with their IRV program after 4 years of doing IRV:

-their new Sequoia machines for RCV still haven’t been certified by the state (not federally certified either)
-they need a contingency plan for counting the RCV ballots if the new machines aren’t certified in time for the election,
-and they need more “public outreach” (voter ed) on ranked choice voting.

This is partly because there is no federally certified software yet. San Francisco is following California law that voting systems have to be federally certified.

...Another problem, according to the report, is the lack of certification by the California Secretary of State of San Francisco’s new Sequoia voting machines for ranked-choice voting, instituted in 2002 for elections to some city offices in order to avoid runoff elections. State certification was still pending at the time of the report.

With a high voter turnout expected for November’s presidential election, the Elections Department needs a contingency plan, an alternative method of counting ranked-choice ballots, in place in case the Sequoia machines are not certified by the election, the report concluded.

The report also said additional public outreach efforts are needed on voter registration requirements, ranked-choice voting and absentee voting.

The full report can be viewed at

Friday, July 4, 2008

former Wake BOE member Debra Goldberg says IRV threatens election integrity!

Following up on the Op-ed piece submitted to several NC newspapers by his daughter-in-law Elena Everett, Wake BOE chair John Gilbert wrote a letter to the editor of the Raleigh News and Observer about IRV that was published in yesterday's paper.

Former Wake BOE member Debra Goldberg contacted our legislators and asked them to say "NO" to the IRV pilot in S 1263. Since she is taking care of some personal family business, I asked for and received permission to share her comments on the lists::

This is part of her own action alert message to her friends:

Subject: ACTION ALERT!! IRV pilot threatens the viability of NC's Verified Voting law
Date: Tue, 1 Jul 2008 23:33:28 -0400

I was on the Wake County Board of Elections when the first pilot for IRV was held in Wake County – Cary, last fall. I am convinced that IRV, even if it saves money, which is highly questionable, is not practical, to implement while still protecting the integrity of our votes.

Protecting our democracy by keeping our verified voting standards is not a special or partisan issue. North Carolina voters of every background (republican, democrat, liberal, conservative, disabled groups, minority groups, mainstream groups) agree that we do not want any changes to our voting which may, in any way, compromise the integrity of our votes. Please join in our effort to halt IRV in NC. Ask your friend to do so too.

Here is what she e-mailed to the legislators:

Subject: S 1263-say no to IRV pilot

Please say no to adding an IRV pilot to S 1263 or any other bill. We want no more Instant Runoff Experiments. Our votes are too precious.

I was on the Wake County Board of Elections when the first pilot for IRV was held in Wake County – Cary, last fall. I am one of only a few people in NC who has direct experience implementing IRV. I can tell you that IRV has few, if any, benefits and many serious problems.

Our Wake County Board of Elections counted the IRV votes by hand during the pilot. It was a small municipal election and only one race went to instant runoff. Based on my experience with even that one small experiment, I am convinced that IRV, even if it saves money, which is highly questionable, is not practical to implement while still protecting the integrity of our votes. Hand counting is too difficult, staff intensive, cost intensive, facilities intensive, monitoring intensive, time intensive, and too subject to error and question to be practical. And as an additional significant concern, if we were to accept IRV, in order to count IRV votes we would surely be pressured (in fairly short order due to the complexities, huge staffing time requirements etc. associated with hand counting) to accept questionable software on undesirable electronic touch screen voting machines. Because there is no certified software, anywhere in the US, to count IRV, IRV will, by necessity, lead to a push to strip standards from our verified voting law in order to automate the counting of IRV votes, using untested software, thus compromising our exemplary NC verified voting laws.

The rationale for IRV, that we can save money on expensive low turnout runoffs, is just not true. What the proponents of IRV don’t tell people is that IRV is very expensive when all cost factors are considered as well as cumbersome and difficult to administer. To accurately and impartially assess the true costs of IRV, one must consider all cost factors: staff, facilities, storage, security, education, the high costs associated with hand counting, etc. And if we were to accept new software and electronic touch screen voting as standard in order to accommodate IRV, we need to figure in the costs of the machines, of replacing them every couple of years, of maintaining them, of buying the software, of keeping the software running, of staffing the problems associated with them on election days etc..

Protecting our democracy by keeping our verified voting standards is not a special or partisan issue. North Carolina voters of every background (republican, democrat, liberal, conservative, and many others) agree that we do not want any changes to our voting which may, in any way, compromise the integrity of our votes. IRV has already, and will if expanded or continued, cost NC dearly in voter integrity while producing few if any other benefits and creating many complications to our voting system.

The previous IRV pilot authorized by the NC Legislature allowed for 10 cities in 2007 and 10 counties in 2008 to participate. Two cities, Cary and Hendersonville agreed to participate. Every other city saw too many complications and declined participation. The pilot expired.

That some interests are still pursuing IRV leads me to question their motives. IRV is cumbersome, expensive, difficult, prone to compromises in our security and trust in our elections, so why would the IRV advocates be pushing it so strongly?

Most other states in the US do not hold statewide runoff elections. If NC wants to cut costs, I would urge lawmakers to consider joining these other states rather than adopting IRV and compromising the integrity of our votes.

I would be glad to discuss with you my experiences on the Board of Elections and with IRV should you feel I may be of additional help to you.

Again, I urge you to squash the efforts to expand or continue Instant Runoff Voting in North Carolina. IRV is unproven and likely expensive and difficult. We must protect our democracy by protecting the integrity of our votes. I am counting on you to help protect NC voters.

Debra D. Goldberg

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Action Alert - protect election integrity in NC by opposing IRV!

Here is a very important action item for election integrity in NC from Joyce McCloy with NC Verified Voting:

This is a CRITICAL action alert. Please share this message with anyone who cares about verified voting and wants to keep our Public Confidence in Elections Law intact.

We have voters from every background (liberal, conservative, disabled groups, minority groups) who agree they don't want their votes experimented with, they don't want more confusing ballots, and they don't want the paper ballot law compromised.

Take action now or be sorry later!

Rep Luebke has asked to have the IRV Pilot Program "extended" by adding it as an amendment to an existing election bill, S 1263. The excuse is that we need IRV so we won't have to spend money on expensive low turnout runoffs. But IRV is expensive! They don't tell lawmakers that.
The House Election Law Committee will be discussing Luebke's amendment on Wednesday, July 2 at 1:00 PM.
Please send an email to the House Election Law Committee and also cc your own lawmakers - its their job to protect their constituents. My email to lawmakers is lower down:
Chairman Rep. Goodwin
Vice Chairman Rep. Kiser
Vice Chairman Rep. Luebke
Vice Chairman Rep. Ross
Members Rep. Bryant, Rep. Church, Rep. Current,
Rep. Fisher, Rep. Harrison, Rep. Holmes,
Rep. Justice, Rep. Lewis, Rep. Martin,
Rep. Michaux, Rep. Stam, Rep. Starnes
Subject: S 1263-say no to IRV pilot

Please say no to adding an IRV pilot to S 1263 or any other bill.

No more Instant Runoff Experiments. Our votes are too precious.
We are told that Rep Luebke will ask to amend SB 1263 to extend the Pilot Program for Instant Runoffs.
The title of the bill is "Election Law Amendments" and is here:

If you recall, the previous pilot allowed for 10 cities in 2007 and 10 counties in 2008 to participate. Two cities, Cary and Hendersonville
participated, and no counties volunteered. The pilot expired. The people have spoken!

Cary was a disaster: besides the miscounting of the ballots, the provisional votes were not counted until after the "instant runoff"
was run. I don't know how you can "add back in" the provisional ballots after counting all three rounds of votes, do you?
In a inner office memo, the State Board of Elections admitted that IRV was too dangerous to try during the May 2008 primary.

In addition to the obvious problems with Instant Runoff (IRV) including that our machines can't handle it, many of our standards for voting systems
and vendors would be have to be lowered to allow this experimental voting system. Recounts and auditing elections are exponentially more complex
with IRV as well.

If the state is anxious to end statewide runoffs, then they could easily abolish them and join about 42 other states who do not have statewide runoffs.

The fact is that IRV is a well intentioned idea that produces unintended consequences, and fails to deliver as promised. It does not save money, is confusing and violates the KISS principle of elections (Keep it Simple). If we had a parlimentary system where you just voted for the party, and not mulitiple individuals for office, it might make sense.

Let some other state work out the many problems with IRV implimentation and voter education.
Why does North Carolina have primary runoffs? Most states don't

Kentucky repealed its provision to hold gubernatorial primary runoff elections in April 2008.
IRV disenfranchises everyone. Remember the long time voter in Hendersonville:
Oct 19, 2007 Voter finds new system frustrating By Harrison Metzger Times-News.
Hendersonville: Bill Modlin wasn't happy with his first experience with the new "instant runoff" voting when he cast his
ballot for Hendersonville City Council on Thursday. ..."It doesn't make any sense to me, and I can guarantee you because
of the way they have it set up there are people in this town that are going to lose their vote," he said. ...
"I call it instant confusion," he said. (Cached) Blue Ridge Now Oct 19.

North Carolina, Instant Runoff Voting and the Flying Car

Instant Runoff was a disaster in Cary North Carolina

On May 6, 15,000 ballots in Wake County and 2,500 in Mecklenburg County were double counted,[1] and 4,000 were omitted in Onslow County.[2]
[1]May 8, 2008 Mecklenburg, Wake find vote flaws News 14 Carolina, NC
[2] May 9, 2008 Thousands of votes missed in Tuesday tallies Jacksonville Daily News, NC

Intellectually dishonest claims for IRV

Recent pro-IRV op-ed pieces, letters to the editor and blog entries have claimed the statewide runoff election for Labor Commissioner cost about $4 million to operate almost 3,000 polling places across the state for about 75,000 voters - about more than $50 a voter. And some supporters are pushing to extend the IRV pilot for another 3 years starting in 2009 - with little or any real discussion of the issues.

It's not intellectually honest to calculate election costs that way. And we really need to have a open discussion and debate about IRV someplace other than a committee meeting dominated by pro-IRV lobbyists.

If you really want to calculate election costs, you do it based on the on the number of registered voters - not on the number of voters who turn out. And so if a runoff cost about $4 million, that works out to be 69 cents per registered voter this year, and 17 cents each year spread out over 4 years (which is how often you have needed a runoff). If you use $3.5 million, it's even cheaper - 60 cents per registered voter this year and 15 cents per year spread out over 4 years.

Our own General Assembly doesn't know how much it would cost to implement IRV. That is because so far they have let the State Board of Elections staff and non-profit IRV advocates run the show. Other states don't let advocates call all the shots. The Maryland General Assembly considered IRV three times - in 2001, 2006 and 2008 - and each time it failed. But at least they did fiscal studies to determine costs for implementing IRV - and those costs are high. If you use the $3.08 to $3.52 costs per registered voter from the Maryland General Assembly fiscal studies for the first year implementation and 48 cents voter education each year after that you are looking at taking the costs per year for the first 4 years of IRV between $1.01 and $1.13 - a whole lot more expensive than 15 to 17 cents for traditional runoff elections that don't get used often. And you gotta spend that money even if you get a winner without the IRV tabulation.

But it would cost $18 million to implement IRV statewide even if all candidates crossed the threshold with the first column votes. By the presidential election year of 2040, you are looking at spending between $37 million and $67 million more with IRV than with traditional elections and a separate runoff election. Does it make sense to always have to pay a lot of money for something you may not even need to use, or pay a little money for something whenever you need it? And what is the cost of lowered election integrity and public confidence in elections if the average citizen saw how badly the Wake BOE did the Cary IRV tabulation? Do you think that the public wants a non-profit to manage a pilot program that the General Assembly charged the SBOE with running? Do you think they wanted FairVote and The Election Reform Society to pay for Johnnie McLean to travel to Scotland to observe their elections and write a glowing report on their election - but not even show up for the Cary IRV tabulation?

We would do better to spend money on voter education and increasing voter turnout at all our elections rather than spending it on a complex, confusing and costly method that won't do a thing to increase voter turnout for the first election.

Rep. Paul Luebke from Durham is already pushing for an extension of his 2006 IRV pilot program bill. He has already amended a Senate Election Law bill (SB1263) to extend the pilot program. And even though some members of the committee that is considering that bill are aware of the risks IRV posed to the May primary election - they are still going to vote in favor of the bill.

Why - because they care getting a distorted report on the results of the pilot - consisting almost exclusively of information from IRV advocacy groups. Do you think they know that the Hendersonville didn't need to tabulate IRV for their elections, and that Wake County BOE didn't follow the SBOE procedures and screwed up the IRV tabulation?

Rep. Luebke claims that he wants to have a discussion about IRV if and when he returns to the General Assembly in 2009. Maybe we should have that discussion NOW, before we talk about extending the pilot? Especially when the SBOE knew there was a risk in using it for the May 2008 primary election.

Chris Telesca

Monday, June 16, 2008

North Carolina voters - please sign my petition!

Make sure to check out and sign my Petition to Restore Election Integrity in NC by opposing Instant Runoff Voting (IRV) at

Friday, June 13, 2008

Welcome to NO IRV NC!

This is the first of what I hope will be many postings about my efforts to keep Instant Runoff Voting (IRV) from creeping into North Carolina under the disguise of election reform.

Please check back soon and often!