IRV Upheld by Federal Court

On April 16, Federal District Court Judge Richard Seeborg upheld the constitutionality of San Francisco’s instant runoff voting system, the first time a federal court has reviewed IRV. San Francisco has used IRV every November since 2004 with machines that allow voters to rank up to three candidates. Judge Seeborg rejected arguments that not allowing voters to rank all candidates violates the Constitution and explained why jurisdictions might prefer it to traditional winner-take-all systems. Other California cities moving forward with IRV elections this year include Berkeley, Oakland and San Leandro.


Judge Richard Seeborg’s opinion
New America Foundation blogpost
San Francisco Chronicle
Background on IRV in San Francisco

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