Tuesday, July 14, 2020
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Tuesday, January 04, 2011
Instant Runoff Voting debunked
By Selected News Articles @ 7:44 PM :: 9849 Views :: Office of Elections

Because voters in the Dec 29 special election for Honolulu County Council Dist 1 elected a Republican, Tom Berg; the billion dollar Progressives at Civil Beat have concluded that the system of elections must be changed, “to prevent such an election in the future.”

Their solution to prevent anybody from displacing the “conscious, enlightened, and progressive” elite from its God-given position of power?  Instant Runoff Voting (IRV), an election scheme recycled from (where else) Berkeley, CA and Burlington, VT…. 


Instant runoff voting protects Progressive dynasty, ensures one-party system

by Mike Smith Burlington Examiner April 13, 2009

A system that constantly favors one party is never good.

Mark Twain wrote in his autobiography, “to lodge all power in one party and keep it there is to insure bad government and the sure and gradual deterioration of the public morals.”

Leaving aside the most obvious examples of such corrupting hegemony – e.g., the Soviets, the Nazis, the Yankees – it's time to focus on the smaller one-party dynamos currently in ascendance in the United States, in which the Vermont Progressive Party is poised to include itself, at least in Burlington.

Thank Instant Runoff Voting (IRV).

FairVote's Terrill Bouricius, an outspoken IRV advocate, explained the process in 1999: “under instant runoff voting, if there is no majority winner, you're not done yet. You have a runoff. But instead of calling voters back to the polls, you just declare the bottom candidates defeated, look at those ballots, and transfer those ballots to those voters' second choice. So you determine which candidate is actually preferred by a majority of voters.”

Sounds a bit tempting, especially considering the fact that IRV purports to thwart “spoiler candidates throwing an election to a candidate that is not the most preferred by the majority” (again, Bouricius' words).

Everyone hates a spoiler. On a national level, whatever support Ross Perot and Ralph Nader were able to gin up over the years has been far overshadowed by the venemous loathing of disgruntled Republicans and Democrats, for handing the presidency to Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, respectively. IRV's appeal as a viable alternative is no surprise.

But there are several dangers to this voting method – “pathologies,” as RangeVoting.org put it. From their analysis of Burlington's recent mayoral election:

“Democrat Andy Montroll was favored over Republican Kurt Wright 56% to 44% (930-vote margin) and over Progressive Bob Kiss 54% to 46% (590-vote margin), majorities in both cases. In other words, in voting terminology, Montroll was a “beats-all winner”

IRV, however, placed Montroll in third, behind Wright and Kiss – who sailed on to an easy reelection as Burlington's Progressive mayor.

The analysis continues: “according to the preferences stated by the voters on their ballots, if Montroll had gone head-to-head with either Kiss or Wright (or anybody else) in a two-man race, he would be mayor. This refutes Bouricius's claim that IRV 'determines which candidate is actually preferred by a majority of voters.'”

Oh, and Wright won a plurality of 33% in the first round. So following the standards of traditional elections, he would be mayor.

Perhaps what Bouricius and other IRV advocates really mean is that they'll be damned if they'll let some Republican interloper seize the reins of the uniformly left-wing City of Burlington on a plurality vote. This isn't about selecting which candidate is actually preferred.

In truth, it's about securing and galvanizing the political power of the Left, whether through the Progressives or the Democrats. The actual candidate is of secondary importance.

As previously explained, IRV avoids the expensive hassle of a follow-up election by simply taking voters' second choices from losing first-choice ballots and adding them to the vote tallies for those candidates. And in Burlington, you can always count on Progressives being the second choice for Democrat voters – and for Independents, and for Greens, and for Commun- oh, wait. We don't have that party here.


The net result of all this maneuvering is a bona fide one-party city, with Progressives planted firmly in power.

But what's the big deal, people may ask? After all, if a follow-up election were to be held, it would likely yield similar results, right? All IRV does, advocates claim, is save us the extra time and money, as well as deliver a higher and more accurate turnout.

Perhaps, but I doubt it. What it really does is allow voters, essentially, to cast ballots for two or more candidates simultaneously, like tossing a handful of darts at a dart board, in the hopes that one of them hits the bullseye. In the event of a follow-up election, candidates still in the race would have more time to assess their situations and reach out to voters, and voters would have more time to reevaulate their feelings about those candidates.

What makes IRV so undemocratic is that it does not allow for this evaluation period, and thus doesn't give cooler heads a chance to prevail, which is necessary for a responsible and accountable government.

RangeVoting's analysis adds, “another problem with IRV is the fact that it cannot be counted in precincts because there is no such thing as a 'precinct subtotal.' That's bad because it forces centralized (or at least centrally-directed) counting, thus making the election more vulnerable to fraud and communication outages.”

That's not a problem, I guess – if you want to emulate the mob-controlled Democratic Party of Chicago, or New York's Tammany Hall of 100 years ago. As long as I'm living in Burlington, though, I'd prefer some open and honest competition.

Last month, political scientist Tony Gierzynski made a compelling case against IRV: “it allows the [different political factions] to ignore the political problem by using a technological fix as opposed to resolving their political differences through the necessary negotiations that characterize politics...when such factions fail to work together, they ultimately fail to accomplish the reason such organizations exist, which is not just to continue existing: it is to win control of government in order to make people's lives better in a manner consistent with their political values.”

Color me skeptical of the bit about government making people's lives better, but you get the idea. A voting system that consistently protects the Progressive Party in Vermont – or any single party, anywhere – is very unhealthy.

For some foreign perspective, here's Charles de Gaulle: “how can one conceive of a one-party system in a country that has over two hundred varieties of cheese?”


CB: Civic Leaders Eye Instant Runoff Elections

HFP: Vote By Mail: “Tool of choice for voter fraud”


TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote


808 Silent Majority

808 State Update AM940


ACA Signups Hawaii



Alliance Defending Freedom

Aloha Life Advocates

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center

American Council of Trustees and Alumni

American Mothers of Hawaii



Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Astronomy Hawaii

Audit The Rail

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Better Hawaii 

Blaisdell Memorial Project

Broken Trust 

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

CAFR Hawaii

Castaway Conservative

Children's Alliance Hawaii

Children's Rights Institute


Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Citizens for Recall

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

Coffee Break

CSIS Pacific Forum

DAR Hawaii


DVids Hawaii

E Hana Kakou Kelii Akina

E Māua Ola i Moku o Keawe

Farmers For Choice Hawaii


Fix Oahu!

Follow the Money Hawaii

Frank in Hawaii

Front Page Magazine

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Get Off Your Butts!

God, Freedom, America

Grassroot Institute


Hawaii Aganst Assisted Suicide

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii Coalition Against Legalized Gambling

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Credit Union Watch

Hawaii Crime Victims' Rights

Hawaii Crop Improvement Association

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defending Marriage

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Family Advocates

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federalist Society

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii Firearm Community

Hawaii Fishermen's Alliance

Hawaii Future Project

Hawaii Gathering of Eagles

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Homeschool Association

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii March for Life

Hawaii Meth Project

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Right to Life -- Big Island

Hawaii Right to Life -- Oahu

Hawaii Shield Law Coalition

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Smokers Alliance

Hawaii State Data Lab

Hawaii Together

Heritage Foundation

HI Coalition Against Legalized Gambling



Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Homeless Crisis

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

Horns of Jericho Blog

House Minority Blog

House Republican Caucus YouTube


Hump Day Report

I Vote Hawaii

If Hawaii News

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

Investigative Project on Terrorism

Iowa Meets Maui

Jackson v Abercrombie

Jihad Watch

July 4 in Hawaii

Kahle v New Hope

Kakaako Cares

Kau TEA Party

Kauai Co GOP

Keep Hawaii's Heroes


Land and Power in Hawaii

Legislative Committee Analysis Tool

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Malulani Foundation

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Malama Pregnancy Center of Maui

Mauna Kea Recreational Users Group


Middle East Forum--The Legal Project

Mililani Conservatives for Change

Military Home Educators' Network Oahu

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

Muslim Brotherhood in America

NAMI Hawaii



National Christian Foundation Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

National Wind Watch

New Hawaiian

New Zeal

NFIB Hawaii News

No GMO Means No Aloha

Northwest Economic Policy Seminar

Not Dead Yet, Hawaii

Now What I Really Think

NRA-ILA Hawaii

Oahu Alternative Transport

ObamaCare Abortion Hawaii


OHA Lies

Opt Out Today


Pacific Aviation Museum

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

PEACE Hawaii

People vs Machine

Pritchett Cartoons 

Pro-GMO Hawaii



Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

Republican Party -- Hawaii State

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

Robotics Organizing Committee

Save Dillingham Airfield

School Choice in Hawaii


SIFE Remington

SIFE W. Oahu 

Sink the Jones Act

Smart About Marijuana--Hawaii

St Marianne Cope

State Budget Solutions Hawaii

State Policy Network

Statehood for Guam

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Harriet Tubman Agenda

The Long War Journal

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Trustee Akina KWO Columns

Truth About Trade & Technology - Hawaii

UCC Truths

Union Members Know Your Rights

US Tax Foundation Hawaii Info

Valor in the Pacific

VAREP Honolulu


West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii