Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Burlington, Vermont successfully uses Ranked Choice Voting to elect Mayor

Burlington Mayor Bob Kiss was re-elected over Republican challenger Kurt Wright and three other candidates in a RCV election. Burlington uses the phrase Instant Runoff Voting (IRV) to describe what we in Pierce County call Ranked Choice Voting (RCV).

Wright received the most first choices, but since there were five candidates in the race, no one received a majority of the first choices and the instant runoff feature of the election system kicked in. Kiss obtained a majority when Democrat Andy Montroll was eliminated in the runoff process. The vast majority of Montroll's supporters listed Kiss as their second choice.

The League of Women Voters in Vermont Legislative Chairwoman Vee Gordon writes enthusiastically about the diverse field of candidates in the Mayor's race. Gordon likes the requirement for a majority winner even in races with many candidates.

Rob Richie, Executive Director of Fairvote.org,
notes how smoothly the election went and the lack of negative campaigning. Only one (1) voter filled out his/her ballot incorrectly. This low error rate is phenomenal when compared to other elections around the country.


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