Letters to the Editor

// Published March 10, 2009 in Burlington Free Press

Thankful Burlington has instant runoff

As a Burlington resident, all I can say is thank goodness Burlington uses instant runoff voting (IRV). We had a good crop of serious and competent candidates, but without typical concerns about "spoilers" or splitting the vote. I don't think that we would have had as many good candidates to choose from and such an issue-focused campaign without IRV.

If Burlington election laws settled for mere plurality winners, we would have been stuck with a "winner" that most voters didn't want in the office. It is amusing that Kurt Wright's sore-loser supporters pretend that he got "the most votes," when Bob Kiss in fact did (51.5 percent to 48.5 percent). It is sort of like they took a snapshot picture of a horse race at the half-way point and saw which horse was ahead, and then complained when another horse won at the actual finish line.

All the candidates knew the rules going into the election booth; we don't need these sour grapes from those who didn't succeed. The IRV system worked just fine three years ago and worked well again this week. Now let's move on to the business of securing Burlington's future in this time of economic uncertainty.


IRV worked as it was supposed to

Instant runoff voting worked in the mayoral election exactly as it was supposed to. Had there been a candidate with over 50 percent of the vote, it would not have been used at all. Since there was not a majority winner, the other ranked votes of the later-ranked candidates came into play.

This is just what would have happened with a run off election. Given the (eventual) top two choices, voters expressed their choice. I cannot imagine, in these tough times, that citizens of Burlington would have preferred to wait for a run-off election which costs the city money and usually draws many fewer voters. Everyone who voted on March 3 had his/her ballot counted, and Mayor Bob Kiss was chosen to continue his leadership of our great city.

I hope we can appreciate that we had five worthy candidates in the mayoral election, and that now we should focus on the issues at hand.