Oscar Night Special: Be an Oscar Voter with IRV

Released March 5, 2010



Oscar Night Special! Vote 1-2-3



Our good friends at FairVote Minnesota have set up a fun online way to try out instant runoff voting -- so that you too can be like Brad Pitt, Meryl Streep, Martin Scorsese, Denzel Washington and the rest of the Academy voters who in recent weeks have ranked the ten Oscar-nominated movies in order of choice.

The Oscars' use of instant runoff voting to pick the best picture of 2009 is drawing a lot of attention -- and a lot of praise. Before going to the FairVote Minnesota survey (and remember, voting ends tomorrow, March 6), you might enjoy reading:

* today's USA Today editorial on Oscars' adoption of IRV "strikes a blow for electoral reform"

* a post this week in the New York Times'  "Freakonomics" blog (An Economists View of the New Oscar Voting) by Justin Wolfers, an Australian with firsthand experience about IRV who writes that "I love the new system"

* Our board chair Krist Novoselic's blogs on IRV at Oscar Votes 1-2-3.

Happy voting,

Rob Richie
Executive Director, FairVote

Dear Movie and Ranked Choice Voting Buffs,

The Oscar ceremony is just days away! On Sunday, March 7th, the 82nd Academy Awards will announce the nation's top film and, for the first time since the early 1940s, the winner will be elected by preference voting or Ranked Choice Voting (RCV)!

You, too, can vote like members of the Academy and rank your favorite films through FairVote MN's online ranked Oscar Poll and help determine Best Picture of the year here in Minnesota!

The poll closes March 6th so click here now and let your preferences be counted! Share the poll with your Oscar-crazy friends. The winner (and runner ups) will be posted March 7th on our website.

In the early years of the Oscars, RCV was used to elect Best Pictures like "Gone with the Wind", until the Academy reduced the field of nominees and switched to the less broadly representative plurality system to elect the winner. As in elections for political office, that system allowed for the "spoiler" effect: One of 10 films could win with just a tiny plurality - even 11 percent - of votes while being opposed by the majority.

This year, the Academy expanded the number of candidates for Best Picture and returned to RCV, which allows the nearly 6,000 members of the Academy to rank films in preference order and elect a winner that has truly broad-based support.

The Academy joins a host of other organizations using RCV across the U.S., including the American Association of University Women, American Political Science Association and more than 50 universities including University of Minnesota, Macalester, Harvard, Stanford, and UCLA. Click here to see full list of organizations using RCV.

Follow RCV and the Oscars at http://oscarvotes123.blogspot.com/.

Follow FairVote Minnesota on Facebook and Twitter.

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