E-Newsletter September 1, 2001

Released September 1, 2001

State-by-state highlights on electoral reform
Plus, our Internet IRV 'joke of the week' and how to use IRV for school elections.

Please send any additional updates, clarifications, corrections or calls for organizing help to Dan Johnson-Weinberger, National Field Director, Center for Voting and Democracy at djw@fairvote.org (312.933.4890). Let's get your city in the next update!

The instant runoff voting referendum will be held on the August 2002 primary ballot, not the November 2002 ballot as previously assumed. A state elections official authorized the change. There has been a surge in reservations for summer vacations in Alaska by instant runoff voting advocates all over the world.

San Francisco, CA: The instant runoff voting referendum will be held on the March 2, 2002 primary ballot. If approved, all elections in San Francisco (mayor, Board of Supervisors, city attorney, etc.) will use instant runoff voting. Tentative plans include a mid-November workshop in San Francisco to kick off the campaign.

A blue-ribbon task force called for a return to cumulative voting in three-person districts for the Illinois House of Representatives, sparking support by the Chicago Sun-Times, state Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka and the Champaign-Urbana News-Gazette. The task force was led by former Republican governor Jim Edgar and former federal judge Abner Mikva. The report can be downloaded from www.midwestdemocracy.org or www.igpa.uiuc.edu

A public forum on electoral reform featuring instant runoff voting will be held Wednesday, September 19th, at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor from 7-9 pm in the Michigan League building on the main Quad. Ann Arbor used instant runoff voting in a 1975 election, and now there is increasing interest to bring it back. For the actual petition and charter language, see http://archive.fairvote.org/library/statutes/index.html

Eugene voters are now deciding whether to authorize their city council to implement instant runoff voting for city elections. Results of the mail-in election will be announced September 18th. The instant runoff voting referendum, Measure 20-51, has no official opposition, and is known in Eugene as 'preference voting.'

The Utah Republican Party used instant runoff voting to elect its party officers at their state convention in late August. Almost 2000 people voted in the election. Republicans dominate Utah politics, and with growing acceptance among Utah Republicans, instant runoff voting might be implemented in Utah in the next few years for primaries and general elections. This is the first time a state party has used instant runoff voting to elect its officers in decades.

What you can do this week:

Vote in the Center's new Internet poll using instant runoff voting. Until September 15th, our Internet poll is to pick your favorite joke among five admittedly poor nominees. Join Krist Novoselic, president of JAMPAC and former bass player for Nirvana, in this Internet poll (and help us show AOL, Yahoo and other sites that run Internet polls that they should use instant runoff voting for their polls). Visit www.fairvote.org

Get your high school or college to consider using instant runoff voting for student elections. The Center has created a kit that includes everything you need to run an IRV election in your school. If you attend a school (or you know someone who does), check out this site and try to get IRV implemented: http://archive.fairvote.org/schools/index.html

Finally, here is the link to the IRV activist kit with some useful tools to print out: http://archive.fairvote.org/activism/kit.htm