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63% of (91,000) Pierce Co voters disliked Instant Runoff Voting

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WillYourVoteBCounted Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-06-08 04:27 PM
Original message
63% of (91,000) Pierce Co voters disliked Instant Runoff Voting

Majority of Pierce County voters disliked Instant Runoff Voting, 91,000 surveyed

Pierce County Washington held its first Ranked Choice Voting election, also called Instant runoff, this past November. 91,000 voters received a survey form with their mail in ballots. A majority of them rejected Instant Runoff. The auditor cites cost of IRV as equal to half of what it cost the county to put on the 2008 General Election. Another criticism is that it took around 2 1/2 weeks to get the results of the IRV election. It certainly isn't instant!


Here's what voters say about IRV when allowed to complete a survey from the comfort and privacy of their homes:



Results are in: 63 percent disliked Ranked Choice Voting
Auditor defends ranked choice

JOSEPH TURNER; joe.turner@thenewstribune.com

Published: December 6th, 2008 12:05 AM Updated: December 6th, 2008 01:45 AM

Pierce County spent a lot of money on a new voting method for a few county offices in November’s election, and most voters didn’t like it a bit.

Auditor Pat McCarthy said ranked-choice voting will cost county taxpayers about $1.7 million, which is half of the overall $3.4 million it cost to put on the 2008 general election.

Although Pierce County voters changed the county charter last year to allow the new voting method, it appears they’ve changed their collective mind. Two of three voters who responded to a survey were opposed to the concept.

“It was overwhelming,” McCarthy told members of the state Senate Government Operations and Elections Committee on Friday. “The majority did not like it.” That was based on nearly 91,000 voters who filled out a questionnaire that accompanied mail-in ballots.

...the rest of the article here



More on IRV:

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GreenPartyVoter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-06-08 04:34 PM
Response to Original message
1. A) IRV isn't the best form of ranked voting out there and B) I think it's sad that
so many people disliked it and found it wanting.
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WillYourVoteBCounted Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-06-08 04:49 PM
Response to Reply #1
5. Fusion Voting is a workable and good solution
Fusion Voting actually strengthens third parties without creating a spoiler effect.
With fusion voting, you can actually get your issues promoted by endorsing candidates who
support those views.

Fusion voting is simple to understand and does not require complex counting methods, does not require a ton of voter ed, and can be counted easily by hand or the existing voting systems.

On the other hand, IRV is NOT additive, in that you cannot just simply add up the vote totals at the polling places in order to get a winner. You have to sort, shuffle, and eliminate and transfer votes individually.

North Carolina was very progressive when we had fusion voting, at that time, in the late 1800s,
we had 1,000 elected black officials, and the white supremacists couldn't get elected.

Then the white supremacists (at that time in NC it was the Dems) executed an actual coup and
took over govt, threw people out of office, took away the right to vote from black citizens, and
got rid of fusion voting.

The White Supremacists cut a deal with big business to keep their taxes down if BB would help them get back in office. (Sound familar?)

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GreenPartyVoter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-06-08 04:55 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. Approval voting would be another option, but the "One person one vote" issue would need to
be amended in some sense. I do wonder, though, how often ties and runoffs result in approval voting systems?
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drmeow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-06-08 04:40 PM
Response to Original message
2. Unclear on the concept
"Another criticism is that it took around 2 1/2 weeks to get the results of the IRV election. It certainly isn't instant!"

Instant refers to the run-off - if they had to go to the second ranked that means without IRV they would have had to hold a run-off election which would take longer than 2 1/2 weeks.
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WillYourVoteBCounted Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-06-08 04:44 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. 2 1/2 weeks just to count it
a lot can happen to the votes during a 2 1/2 week period.

Plus, you need to be able to verify that the votes were counted accurately.

This requires the use of a complex algorithm, of the likes used in San Francisco for
several years before a flaw was discovered in the algorithm.

It is the least transparent way to count votes.

It is a new form of black box voting, and a way to avoid recounts.
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drmeow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-06-08 05:59 PM
Response to Reply #3
7. The "instant" still refers to the run-off
not the time it takes to count the votes.
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WillYourVoteBCounted Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-06-08 08:38 PM
Response to Reply #7
10. but the morons think it is instant
because of the name.

Fair Vote created the name "instant runoff" in order to make Ranked Choice Voting
sound better and to help sell it to people who didn't understand it.

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drmeow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-06-08 09:38 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. In other words
they are unclear on the concept as I said in my original post.
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WillYourVoteBCounted Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-06-08 10:24 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. IOW, they are sold a bill of goods, "instant" is a misnomer
in this case.

Hence those who don't understand why it takes days or weeks to count all of the different
rounds of votes in an area that has over 500,000 voters.

These folks believe the "talking points".
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Luminous Animal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-06-08 07:25 PM
Response to Reply #3
8. 2 and a half weeks is by design stonewalling....
Edited on Sat Dec-06-08 07:25 PM by Luminous Animal
I want to start an investigation is San Francisco as to why it takes so long. The powers that be blame IRV but if that is the case, why can Australia, an IRV country whose votes are 100% hand counted, manage to deliver the results the same night as an election?

It is no secret that downtown interests want to reverse IRV in San Francisco so something smells incredibly fishy.
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WillYourVoteBCounted Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-06-08 08:34 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. Australia? ballot is simpler but still takes days or weeks to get results
What genius compares US elections to Australia's where ballots are so much simpler?

Can you cite anything to back up what you say?

Australia and New South Wales were still counting their Oct 18 election on Oct 30 .
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Luminous Animal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-07-08 01:56 PM
Response to Reply #9
14. I've got an Australian sitting right next to me...
He claims that they deliver the results the night of the election I'll insist he back this up or I'll deflate the inflatable mattress and send him packing.
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WillYourVoteBCounted Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-07-08 05:18 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. AU: one week to a month, depending on the election
I asked some elections methods experts for some history on the counting of
ballots for Australia - the house uses a form of "IRV":

The 2007 elections for House (Australian house uses IRV)
were held 24 November.
By 30 Nov or before they had announced preliminary results/guesses.
As of 6 Dec, they had counted a lot of races accurately enough but still
considered
9 races (of the 150 total) unresolved.
As of 11 Dec, 7 races were unresolved.
As of 28 Dec (or before?), they considered all 150 counts to be final.

So the answer is it takes about a month to handle the tough races,
but the easy races take only about a week.

Perhaps somebody can give more exact timeline.
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/RangeVoting/message/9709
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WillYourVoteBCounted Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-06-08 11:46 PM
Response to Reply #8
13. take a look at IRV with Touch Screens
Read the NC State Board of Elections' instructions for counting IRV in any touchscreen counties volunteering for the "instant runoff" pilot. One single error would change the outcome of the election. (at the bottom of the page we state how this workaround likely is illegal):

To tabulate a runoff election follow these procedures:
1. Announce the two (2) candidates that are in the Instant Runoff.
2. Print document - Hendersonville IRV-Ballot Position Numbers.pdf to determine the voting positions for each candidate in the Instant Runoff.
3. Remove the "Compact Flash Cards" from the iVotronic voting devices in the City of Hendersonville precincts.
4. Capture the Election Data in ERM;
a. Clear Audit Data in ERM.
b. Import Compact Flash Audit Data
c. Collect Audit Data - From Specified Drive –
c:\elecdata\7GNCHEND\GNGFLASH\ADT.
d. Select machines from Armory Precinct only.
e. Consolidate Audit Data.
f. Create Vote Image Log.
g. Print Vote Image Log – Select Contest/Precinct, Numbers Only, Printer.
h. Select EL155 from the Report File Utility and click on Copy – Name the file IRV_Armory.txt and copy to a location that you can retrieve from (desktop, portable flash drive, etc).
i. Clear Audit Data in ERM.
j. Collect Audit Data - From Specified Drive –c:\elecdata\7GNCHEND\GNGFLASH\ADT.
k. Select machines from Southwest Precinct only.
l. Consolidate Audit Data.
m. Create Vote Image Log.
n. Print Vote Image Log – Select Contest/Precinct, Numbers Only, Printer.
o. Select EL155 from the Report File Utility and click on Copy – Name the file IRV_Southwest.txt and copy to a location that you can retrieve from (desktop, portable flash drive, etc).
p. Clear Audit Data in ERM.
q. Collect Audit Data - From Specified Drive –c:\elecdata\7GNCHEND\GNGFLASH\ADT.
r. Select machines from all remaining Hendersonville precinct machines.
s. Consolidate Audit Data.
t. Create Vote Image Log.
u. Print Vote Image Log – Select Contest/Precinct, Numbers Only, Printer.
v. Select EL155 from the Report File Utility and click on Copy – Name the file IRV_All and copy to a location that you can retrieve from (desktop, portable flash drive, etc).
5. Open a blank Excel Spreadsheet and import.
a. Change "files of type" to All Files - Select file IRV_Armory.txt to import – Click on OK.
b. Select Fixed width and click on Next.
c. Place separators at 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45 and 50.
d. Press Next and then Finish. Save the Excel File with the name IRV_Armory.xls and a location that you can retrieve.
6. Open a blank Excel Spreadsheet and import.
a. Change "files of type" to All Files - Select file IRV_Southwest.txt to import – Click on OK.
b. Select Fixed width and click on Next.
c. Place separators at 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45 and 50.
d. Press Next and then Finish. Save the Excel File with the name IRV_Southwest.xls and a location that you can retrieve.
7. Open a blank Excel Spreadsheet and import.
a. Change "files of type" to All Files - Select file IRV_All.txt to import –
Click on OK.
b. Select Fixed width and click on Next.
c. Place separators at 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45 and 50.
d. Press Next and then Finish. Save the Excel File with the name
IRV_All.xls and a location that you can retrieve.
8. Open file Hendersonville IRV Tabulation Form.xls.
9. Open the Excel file that you created in Step 5d.
a. Delete Column B
b. Sort data on Column A
c. Delete all rows without machine numbers.
d. Highlight all the data for Armory Precinct and copy.
e. Copy the data into Hendersonville IRV Tabulation Form.xls in the RED Tab 1st-2nd Choice – click in Cell A9 and then copy.
f. Highlight the imported data (A9 to the end) and sort on Column B
g. Using the file created in Step 5d, highlight all the data for Southwest Precinct and copy.
h. Copy the data into Hendersonville IRV Tabulation Form.xls in the BLUE Tab 1st-2nd Choice – click in Cell A9 and then copy.
i. Highlight the imported data (A9 to the end) and sort on Column B
j. Using the file created in Step 5d, highlight all the data for all the other precincts in the City of Hendersonville (excluding Armory and Southwest) and copy.
k. Copy the data into Hendersonville IRV Tabulation Form.xls in the BLACK Tab 1st-2nd Choice – click in Cell A9 and then copy.
l. Highlight the imported data (A9 to the end) and sort on Column B.
10. Verify that the vote totals for the candidates match the ERM Report.
a. Click on Yellow Tab Grand Totals – Totals for each candidate should match the report on ERM.
b. Print copy of YELLOW Tab Grand Totals.
11. Click on BLACK Tab 3rd Choice – Remove all votes for Runoff candidates from 1st & 2nd Choice.
a. Column B should already be sorted.
b. Highlight all rows that have a vote for the runoff candidates from 1st & 2nd Choice (Voting positions 3 thru 7 – example: Caldwell=3, Caraker=4, etc.).
c. Delete the selected rows.
d. The votes for the runoff candidates should now reflect the votes cast for the runoff candidates that were a 3rd Choice but not a 1st or 2nd choice (Voting positions 13 thru 17).
e. Highlight the remaining data (A8 to the end) and copy.
12. Click on BLACK Tab 4th Choice – Remove all votes for Runoff candidates from 3rd Choice.
a. Paste the data from Step 9e into cell 9a.
b. Highlight all rows that have a vote for the runoff candidates from 3rd Choice (Voting positions 13 thru 17 – example: Caldwell=13, Caraker=14, etc.).
c. Delete the selected rows.
d. The votes for the runoff candidates should now reflect the votes cast for the runoff candidates that were a 4th Choice but not a 1st, 2nd, or 3rd choice.
e. Highlight the remaining data (A8 to the end) and copy.
13. Click on BLACK Tab 5th Choice – Remove all votes for Runoff candidates from 4th Choice.
a. Paste the data from Step 10e into cell 9a.
b. Highlight all rows that have a vote for the runoff candidates from 4th Choice (Voting positions 20 thru 24 – example: Caldwell=20, Caraker=21, etc.).
c. Delete the selected rows.
d. The votes for the runoff candidates should now reflect the votes cast for the runoff candidates that were a 5th Choice but not a 1st, 2nd, 3rd or 4th choice.
14. Click on RED Tab 3rd Choice – Remove all votes for Runoff candidates from 1st & 2nd Choice in Armory Precinct.
a. Column B should already be sorted.
b. Highlight all rows that have a vote for the runoff candidates from 1st & 2nd Choice (Voting positions 16 thru 20 – example: Caldwell=16,
Caraker=17, etc.).
c. Delete the selected rows.
d. The votes for the runoff candidates should now reflect the votes cast for the runoff candidates that were a 3rd Choice but not a 1st or 2nd choice (Voting positions 26 thru 30).
e. Highlight the remaining data (A8 to the end) and copy.
15. Click on RED Tab 4th Choice – Remove all votes for Runoff candidates from 3rd Choice.
a. Paste the data from Step 12e into cell 9a.
b. Highlight all rows that have a vote for the runoff candidates from 3rd Choice (Voting positions 26 thru 30 – example: Caldwell=26, Caraker=27, etc.).
c. Delete the selected rows.
d. The votes for the runoff candidates should now reflect the votes cast for the runoff candidates that were a 4th Choice but not a 1st, 2nd, or 3rd choice.
e. Highlight the remaining data (A8 to the end) and copy.
16. Click on RED Tab 5th Choice – Remove all votes for Runoff candidates from 4th Choice.
a. Paste the data from Step 13e into cell 9a.
b. Highlight all rows that have a vote for the runoff candidates from 4th Choice (Voting positions 33 thru 37 – example: Caldwell=33, Caraker=34, etc.).
c. Delete the selected rows.
d. The votes for the runoff candidates should now reflect the votes cast for the runoff candidates that were a 5th Choice but not a 1st, 2nd, 3rd or 4th choice.
17. Click on BLUE Tab 3rd Choice – Remove all votes for Runoff candidates from 1st & 2nd Choice in Armory Precinct.
a. Column B should already be sorted.
b. Highlight all rows that have a vote for the runoff candidates from 1st & 2nd Choice (Voting positions 11 thru 15 – example: Caldwell=11, Caraker=12, etc.).
c. Delete the selected rows.
d. The votes for the runoff candidates should now reflect the votes cast for the runoff candidates that were a 3rd Choice but not a 1st or 2nd choice (Voting positions 21 thru 25).
e. Highlight the remaining data (A8 to the end) and copy.
18. Click on BLUE Tab 4th Choice – Remove all votes for Runoff candidates from 3rd Choice.
a. Paste the data from Step 15e into cell 9a.
b. Highlight all rows that have a vote for the runoff candidates from 3rd Choice (Voting positions 21 thru 25 – example: Caldwell=21, Caraker=22, etc.).
c. Delete the selected rows.
d. The votes for the runoff candidates should now reflect the votes cast for the runoff candidates that were a 4th Choice but not a 1st, 2nd, or 3rd choice.
e. Highlight the remaining data (A8 to the end) and copy.
19. Click on BLUE Tab 5th Choice – Remove all votes for Runoff candidates from 4th Choice.
a. Paste the data from Step 16e into cell 9a.
b. Highlight all rows that have a vote for the runoff candidates from 4th Choice (Voting positions 28 thru 32 – example: Caldwell=28,
Caraker=29, etc.).
c. Delete the selected rows.
d. The votes for the runoff candidates should now reflect the votes cast for the runoff candidates that were a 5th Choice but not a 1st, 2nd, 3rd or 4th choice.
20. Click on YELLOW Tab Grand Totals – The votes displayed in the grand totals for the Runoff Candidates should be the final results.
http://www.ncvoter.net/downloads/Henderson_County_IRV%2...

If you got this far, here are the problems with this:

1. This work around removes vote data from the ES&S Unity system to a system not tested with it - exporting data first to notepad/wordpad and then excell to tabulate the votes.

a. neither word pad, note pad or excell have been tested for their vote tabulation ability.
b. this process erases audit data as it progresses, excell doesn't have an audit trail, and some versions of excell have bugs.
c. it is not known what happens to the data as it is moved from the ES&S vote tabulation system to a non ES&S vote tabulation system.

2. All parts of the vote tabulation system must be federally tested together, to ensure they work together.

3. There are over 100 steps in the process, with instructions like "click on the red tab, or click on the blue tab".
One single keystroke error would change the outcome of the election, and there is no audit trail for this process. Audit data is deleted as steps are performed.
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RUMMYisFROSTED Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-06-08 04:45 PM
Response to Original message
4. The aroma from Thurston.
:cry:
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