Instant Run-Off Voting Debate Returns in Burlington
Burlington, Vermont - October 12, 2009
Should Burlington residents decide if instant run-off voting continues in Burlington? A petition is circulating right now that calls for that question to be on the Town Meeting Day ballot. Helping to gather signatures is Republican Kurt Wright.
Under the system voters rank their choices, and if no candidate wins a majority on the first count, then the voters' remaining choices are counted until one candidate wins a majority.
Wright was the first choice for Mayor among Burlington voters last Town Meeting Day, but he did not win the seat. Because he didn't get 50 percent of the vote in the first round, the election then went to a second round. Bob Kiss was re-elected after that second round of voting.
"We should want healthy debate, but IRV discourages that. We don't have that because someone is worried about someone's second place votes," says the former City Councilor and now Burlington State Representative. "With what happened in the last election, and with what we now know, I think it's appropriate and timely for voters to weigh back in on this."
About half of the 1600 signatures needed to get the measure on the Town Meeting Day ballot have been collected.