History, politics, people of Oly WA

Tim Eyman cherry-picking IRV?

Instant Runoff Voting is on a roll in Washington. Approved by voters in Pierce County two elections ago, it was defending from watering-down last November. Depending on how things go with the Supreme Court and with Pierce County’s maiden IRV voyage next fall, IRV could be seen as a nice compromise between a closed primary and a non-partisan primary.

Which makes sense that an initiative was filed to enact an IRV system statewide. It probably won’t get on the ballot, but at least one active initiative huckster has taken notice. From email:

I have sponsored an initiative for implementing Instant Runoff Voting. It is in its first form at the moment, at the code reviewer’s office. The present incarnation of the text is posted below. I’ve already been approached by Eyman’s henchmen, but I want to keep this as grass-roots as possible.

Probably the worst thing that could happen to an IRV initiative would be a connection with Tim Eyman. I could see a scenerio in which the initiative would still pass, but attaching Eyman’s name to the campaign would mean that at least one party in the state would fight it tooth and nail.

On the other hand, sans Eyman, I’m pretty sure that party activists that have already shown a liking to IRV could lead the way and build trust. I know of at least two local party platforms that include IRV (Whatcom and Thurston).

In case you’re wondering, here is the description of the initiative:

Concerning an update to the ballot in the electoral process by which state and national representatives are decided. Implementation of instant runoff voting.

In the case of candidacy elections, where and when more than two candidates are running, the electorate shall be provided a ranked ballot. Next to each candidate’s name, there shall be an option of consecutive numerical ranks equal to the number of candidates running, up to and including four positions. The voter may chose to vote for one candidate by selecting only one spot on the ballot concurrent with said candidate’s name. Or, the voter may rank up to four candidates in order of preference. If, as in the current system, one candidate wins a majority of the first-preference votes cast, that candidate is victorious. If there is no candidate with a majority (over 50%) of first-preference votes, an instant runoff will occur. The candidate with the least first-preference votes (or a number of least viable candidates determined by the legislature) will be eliminated, with his/her ballots redistributed to whom they indicate is their second preference candidate. This process will be repeated as necessary until one candidate receives a majority vote.

1 Comment

  1. Anonymous

    Why on Earth would Tim Eyman sponsor this type of initiative?! And when you say, “Eyman’s henchmen” who exactly are you referring to? http://battlesoftim.com/btrep.htm

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