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

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