State Panels Study Fairer Voting Systems

Lawmakers in Colorado and Minnesota have organized statewide studies of fairer voting systems including instant runoff voting (IRV) and choice voting.

An initiative of State Rep. John Kefalas, the Colorado task force will look at several single- and multi-winner systems. Interest in IRV has burgeoned in the state following concern about minor party "spoiler" candidacies, negative campaigns and the high cost of low-turnout runoff elections.

Initiated by Secretary of State Mark Ritchie, the Minnesota Ranked Choice Voting Issues Group first met on June 27 to look at issues surrounding localities' ease of transition to choice voting and IRV. Last November, Minneapolis residents voted overwhelmingly to use both systems for city elections. One goal is to forge a statewide consensus on implementation so that voting equipment needs can be presented to vendors in a united, systematic manner. The group will include lawmakers, election administrators, community leaders and reform advocates.

[ Rocky Mountain News column on IRV to replace CO runoffs ]
[ AP coverage of the CO study group ]
[ Southwest Journal coverage of the MN Issues Group ]