Wednesday, May 20, 2009

"Street Football" or how they crossed the threshold by pulling votes out of their "Asspen"!

Joyce McCloy, Kathy Dopp, and the folks at RangeVoting have posted a link to an open letter to Fair(yTale)Vote's Rob Richie in response to Rob's puff piece at the Huffington Post entitled "Good Things Come to Those Who Rank: Campaign Finance, Political Dialogue, and Instant Runoff Voting" (does that make it a "huff piece"?) from Marilyn Marks - one of the candidates in the recent Aspen Co IRV race.

Her letter to Richie is devastating to say the least. You have GOT to read it! There are links in the letter to a site which reported there was some sort of arts related issue on the ballot, and many people simply FORGOT to vote on it (I am guessing) due to the more complex IRV races. Her letter also contained a link to a report by her nephew, who goes to NCSU right here in Raleigh.

And while many people realize that all three winners in the races finished with the exact same totals - 1273 votes - few folks seem to understand how this happened.

Richie rightly claims that the process needed more explanation (and a headache remedy or several stiff drinks) in order to be understood. But even when he has explained it, the numbers still don't add up.

There was more than one race where:

1) only two candidates left standing AND

2) all the other ballots were exhausted AND

3) the threshold had not yet been crossed.

And yet they still declared a winner! Know how they did it? Instead of holding a traditional runoff election because they had no clear winner, it appears as though they took a look at the subsequent rankings for the ballots belonging to the second place finisher at that point, and saw if there were any votes for the first place finisher - then added just enough votes to cross the threshold.

They stopped counting as soon as they got 1273 - which is why the winners in three different races have exactly the same number of winning votes. IRV advocate Terry Boricious claims that is Cambridge IRV rules, but it seems more like "street football" (comedy routine by Bill Cosby, where he who brings the football makes the rules). I say this is pulling votes out of your "Asspen" (funny "South Park" episode which you can watch here). If you have seen the episode - do you recognize any link between the timeshare organization that seems to control everything and the folks and organizations pushing IRV? ;-)

How can this possibly be a smooth election where IRV proved anything other than how complicated it is in the first place?

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