Instant runoff voting is a smart, money-saving idea

Joel M. Koemptgen // Published January 8, 2008 in Duluth News Tribune
Thanks are owed to the News Tribune for publishing the Dec. 29 commentary, “Instant-runoff voting system would save money and trips to the polls.”

I had the opportunity to participate in an information workshop in Duluth in which we voted in a mock election using instant runoff voting. It’s an easy system to learn and has results that are very democratic. Our present system of voting has serious limitations. Primary elections often result in very limited participation. Often, winning candidates are selected by a small number of special-interest voters, something that can lead to the elimination of better-qualified individuals. Though general elections have better turnouts, if there are more than two candidates, the winner can be determined without winning a majority of the votes cast. A prime example of this was the election of Jesse Ventura as governor of Minnesota.

The instant runoff voting system is simple and fair, and it eliminates the time and expense of primaries. I urge elected officials in the city of Duluth and state of Minnesota to become familiar with instant runoff voting.

Joel M. Koemptgen