Instant Runoff Voting Wins Preliminary Approval - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Instant Runoff Voting Wins Preliminary Approval

Montpelier, Vermont - March 13, 2008

The Vermont House has preliminarily passed a plan to use Instant Runoff Voting in federal races.

With IRV, voters rank the candidates by order of preference. If no one wins a majority, then voters second choices are counted, until one candidate gets a majority.

The bill would apply to U.S. House races starting this election and to U.S. Senate races starting in 2010.

So far, no state has enacted IRV voting, but 10 cities have including Burlington.

The bill has already passed the Senate.

"I think this makes the playing field for minority candidates like myself and minority party members to finally break the hold of the two-party system," said Rep. Daryl Pillsbury, I-Brattleboro.

"I believe that like true love or true friendship true democracy is best when its uncomplicated," said Rep. Jim Condon, D-Colchester.

The bill passed in the House by a 21-vote margin-- not enough to withstand a potential gubernatorial veto. Gov. Jim Douglas, R-Vermont, is strongly against the bill, arguing the essence of democracy is that everyone has one vote.

Kristin Carlson - WCAX News

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