Friday, April 06, 2007

Arkansas Extends Use of IRV

In the state of Arkansas, military voters who are stationed overseas are sent one instant runoff ballot so that they can participate in both the general election and any runoff. This allows these military voters to vote without slowing down the process for elections officials in Arkansas.

Recently, the Arkansas state legislature passed HB 1509 which extends the use of instant runoff voting to all overseas voters. Arkansas Secretary of State Charlie Daniels issued a press release praising the state legislature for passing HB 1509 since it allows more voters to vote in a timely way and relieves the time pressure on elections officials.

"Act 261 (HB 1509) sponsored by Representatives Horace Hardwick and Jeff Wood, and Senator Ed Wilkinson will allow all overseas citizens to cast an instant runoff ballot at the same time as his or her regular ballot. This protects overseas citizens’ right to vote in a runoff when the absentee ballot turnaround time is often tight. Rep. Hardwick sponsored similar legislation in 2005 providing instant runoff voting to active duty military personnel stationed overseas."

No one in Arkansas voiced concerns about military voters being confused by the ballots. No one in Arkansas voiced concerns about the other overseas voters being confused either. It seems like state officials in Arkansas believe in their voters. Some elections officials in the state of Washington seem to believe the voters of Washington are not as smart as the voters of Arkansas.



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