Instant Runoff Voting (IRV)
Since it was founded, the United States has generally utilized the simplest method of voting: whoever has the most votes wins. This practice is not, however, as democratic as it may seem. For example, in a four-way election, a candidate could win with only 25.1% of the vote, meaning that the majority of voters did NOT want that individual to win.
The Green Party in Waterford is proposing that the town adopt an election method called Instant Runoff Voting (IRV) for the selection of their First Selectman, where each voter ranks candidates in order of preference. The first-place votes are tallied, and until one candidate has a majority, the individual with the fewest votes is removed from the race, and those ballots are then assigned to the candidate that the voter wrote down as their second-choice.
With this voting method, individuals can vote for ANY candidate that they want without fear of “spoiling” the election, as their vote will be transferred to their lesser choices if their first-choice has too few votes to win.
For a good visual and audible explanation of IRV, please watch the videos below:
IRV Explained (Our Proposed Method):
The Problem with First Past the Post Voting (Our Current Method):