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Instant Runoff Voting System to be Considered by County

There were lots of 'I Voted' Stickers left over last week | Photo by joebeone via Flickr
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Last week's election hardly brought a soul out. 6%, or around 24,000 people, of nearly 400,000 registered voters came out for last week's special election for the 26th district State Senate seat vacated by Mark Ridley-Thomas when he joined the LA County Board of Supervisors. At a cost of around $2.2 million, many are frustrated at how the currently system is set up, which does not encourage participation. Today at the Board of Supervisors meeting, Ridley-Thomas plans on introducing a motion regarding an instant runoff system. "In an instant runoff, voters would rank their preferences for the office, and if their first choice were eliminated, their votes would go to their second-choice until someone received a majority, and there would be no second election," the Daily News explains. If passed, the motion will instruct the Registrar-Recorder's office to find if it is feasible for the county to use such a system.

"Instant runoff voting offers the possibility of greater choice for voters,'' said Courage Campaign founder Rick Jacobs to the paper. "With IRV, they don't have to back a protest candidate who cannot win or just vote for a leading candidate they do not really like for fear of a worse outcome. They can really vote their choice.''