Letter to the Editor Re: IRV

The New York Times
To the Editor:
Re "Civics Fans Can't Fill the Seats" (NYC column, July 23):

Clyde Haberman, in expressing his wish that more New Yorkers be as interested in City Charter Commission hearings as in baseball, helped make the case for a reform recommended in the commission's preliminary report: two rounds of voting should be consolidated into one higher turnout election with instant runoff voting.

"IRV" is an empowering means to ensure that voters have maximum choice in decisive elections with maximum turnout. That's why IRV is used to elect mayors in cities like San Francisco, Minneapolis and Oakland and international capitals like London and Wellington, New Zealand.

Turnout tends to be sharply lower in runoffs, as was the case in last year's expensive runoffs for city comptroller and public advocate. IRV upholds majority rule in a single voting round by allowing voters to indicate their alternate choices in case their first choice fails to make the runoff.

IRV would likely save New York City $15 million in 2013 - and give voters more time to root for the Mets and the Yankees.

Rob Richie
Executive Director, FairVote
Takoma Park, Md., July 23, 2010


Originally published at http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/03/opinion/lweb03vote.html?_r=1