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Voting Vendors will love Instant Runoff bill introduced to New York legislature

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WillYourVoteBCounted Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-27-09 09:30 PM
Original message
Voting Vendors will love Instant Runoff bill introduced to New York legislature
New Yorkers, Instant Runoff is being pushed in your state. If you like computerized voting then you might not mind.

Passing Instant Runoff Voting in New York means a Pot of Gold for voting vendors





Instant Runoff Bill Introduced in State Assembly January 27, 2009 Posted by irvnyc in Uncategorized.

In past legislative sessions, New York State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr. has introduced a bill that would allow for instant runoff voting in certain local New York elections. This year, a similar bill, A03281, has been introduced by Assemblyman Brian Kavanagh.

Assemblyman Thieles past IRV bills havent made it out of committee. Notably, Assemblyman Thiele is a Republican in a Democratic-dominated Assembly. Assemblyman Kavanagh is a Democrat, so his bill may have a better chance.

The bill is currently in the Election Law Committee, whose members are listed here. If you live in one of these assembly members districts, please call or write to them and urge them to approve of Assemblyman Kavanaghs bill!

To track the status of the bill, see this page.


Sequoia, Dominion or others would LOVE to sell you their junkie machines and get all of your HAVA funds.
Thats like a pot of Gold.


Scotland gave up its hand counted paper ballots for a form of IRV:

New Yorkers need to be aware that if IRV takes root in New York, it will incentivize the use of electronic or computerized voting machines. Dr. Rebecca Mercuri warned Scotland about this, before that country switched to computerized voting.


Voting machines were recommended to Scotland, because counting STV/IRV is so complex:

When Scotland adopted STV (a form of ranked choice voting) they traded their hand counted paper ballots to computerized voting machines:

Scottish officials followed the advice of "experts" including the non profit "The Electoral Reform Society" and switched from hand counted paper ballots to computerized voting in May '07 to support STV, a form of Instant Runoff:

3.3.1 Experience of counting STV elections elsewhere led the Scottish Executive to examine the feasibility of counting the ballot papers electronically. Following a procurement exercise in late 2005 DRS Data Services Limited (DRS) was selected as the preferred supplier to provide the equipment and support necessary to support such a process. DRS provided the e-counting services in the Greater London Authority / London Mayoral Elections in 2000 and 2004. DRS also involved Electoral Reform Services (ERS) in their proposals ERS having extensive experience of STV elections.
("Electoral Reform Services" is related to the Electoral Reform Society, a non profit whose goal is to spread IRV).



You might say - but they have paper ballot/optical scan, so thats ok.

BUT - IRV is being promoted as a way to GET RID OF RECOUNTS in Minnesota, so that paper will be worthless.

Your View: Instant runoff cheaper than recount Mankato Free Press, MN - ...Second, would be to institute IRV voting this is instant runoff voting or ranked voting. This totally eliminates the need for a recount. ...


But IRV can cause the need for a recount, as it did in Cary North Carolina in Oct 2007.
The election officials couldn't count just 3,000 ballots correctly:

"Critics Take Runoff Concerns to Elections Board" NBC 17 Tuesday, Oct 30, 2007 - 07:29

...What IRV does is violate one of the basic principals of election integrity, which is simplicity," said Perry Woods, a political consultant in Cary.
He says a small glitch threw everything into turmoil.
Basically, someone counted the same group of votes twice; the error was caught, and corrected after an audit.
Woods says his problem is with how they conducted that audit.

"In this case, they ended up recounting all the ballots again and calling it an audit," said Woods. "I felt like if they were doing that, the public should have been involved, so no doubt is there."


Will Sequoia, Dominion, or others help get IRV passed so that they can sell you machines?

Yes IRV can be counted by hand, but its very hard. It also has to be counted at a central location,
which violates your state laws.

What will you do?

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MarjorieG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-27-09 09:53 PM
Response to Original message
1. Are you NY, and can we work together?
Much of what the groups are pitching are an avoidance of the problem of secure and observable votes, ballot custody issues, all for the sake of convenience.

Rather than concern for getting the first choice accurate, without electronics, we now want be satisfied with secret second and third choices electronically. I'm not sure scanners can even satisfy all the schemes and systems people are proposing into law.

I wanted a mechanical, second generation years ago, so we keep chasing our tails on this. We worked in NY for PBOS so the vendors could sell something, have something to audit via HAVA (and never litigated what HAVA meant per the lever). None of the states understand or can afford the kind of observance needed with PBOS. MN's Ritchie now wants 1/4 percent trigger because he thinks scanners will always work and all scanners alike.

Sequoia dissed PA obligations, as well as NY on costs and improvements on the Imagecast; NYC has yet to decide. We need help to change the 2005 law to ban DREs and allow retention of levers until we can get a PBOS that actually passes our regulations. No chance keeping levers permanently, although the lack of auditing more manageable by the BOEs and results more reliable than electronics with inadequate observance/auditing.

We can't even get poll workers hired in time, or in an increased degree for the switch.

Do you have any idea how we're doing on NY state designed/owned, open equipment?

The supposed good govt groups are all avoiding the basic problems they helped create by touting electronics (or keeping to access only-without regard to security issues). Now they're into convenience voting, extended early voting without concern for security, as usual, and proportional voting, all requiring electronic solutions.

Following the money, do you know who funds these groups with this shell game?
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WillYourVoteBCounted Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-28-09 12:21 AM
Response to Reply #1
4. who funds them?
from what some of us have seen, these folks who promote IRV
at the state levels are people who haven't studied the voting machine
issue and are true believers that IRV will help third parties.

Ironically, the few countries that use IRV have either a 2 party domination or
as in Ireland, election results with a single party domination.

So there are some well intended folks pushing for it, but the vendors will
be the beneficiaries, because the more complex you make elections,
the bigger the push for complex technology.

Im just getting the word out, the IRV pushers have been trying to
use my state (North Carolina) as a launching board.

Our State Board of Elections Chairman pretty much admitted that there was no
way to do the IRV pilot program (experiment in the next few years in our
state and still comply with all of NC's election laws.

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davidinalameda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-27-09 10:07 PM
Response to Original message
2. it works in San Francisco really well
I guess that bastion of right wing conservatism illustrates your point
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WillYourVoteBCounted Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-28-09 12:17 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. what has IRV done in San Francisco?
IRV hasn't improved the political system in SF,
it hasn't helped third party candidates,


In 2007,

there was 1 mayoral candidate and a slew of vanity candidates who
didn't garner any significant percentage of votes.

there was only 1 candidate for District Atty,

there were only 2 candidates for Sheriff.

But San Francisco did have to get an exemption from state law requiring
that voting machine software be certified.

For 3 years SF used uncertified software to tabulate IRV, only to
discover that there was an flaw in the algorithm that tabulated
the last place contest. (if not more flaws).

IRV hasn't decreased costs and it hasn't made politics more congenial.

Its fine as an academic excercise, or to have a school govt election with,
but not something to run a govt election with.

but Voting Vendors will benefit due to the complexity of the counting.

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davidinalameda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-28-09 01:06 AM
Response to Reply #3
6. hate to break it to you
but bullshit

the voters in SF are somewhat intelligent and know what to do

I think I voted in one election with IRV while I still lived there

it's easy


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WillYourVoteBCounted Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-28-09 01:13 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. you said you "think" that you voted in an IRV election?
you aren't sure?
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davidinalameda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-29-09 12:58 AM
Response to Reply #7
12. I don't remember what I had for dinner last night
sorry!


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OnTheOtherHand Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-28-09 07:27 AM
Response to Reply #6
8. I think you missed the point
As WYVBC notes in another post, actually some voters do become confused. (That tends to be true with any change in voting methods, but likely more so with IRV, since it asks voters to make different decisions than in the past, not just to record their decisions differently.) But even if that weren't so, it does increase the complexity of the counting (more so to the extent that people take the opportunity to vote for a wider range of candidates), and that does create incentives for electronic voting and make auditing by hand more difficult.

I can imagine a system in which all that might be acceptable, but I haven't seen one. Certainly talking about San Franciscans' intelligence doesn't address the problem. I'm not dead set against IRV, but I absolutely think its advocates bear the burden of establishing that it would solve more problems than it creates.
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Bill Bored Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-28-09 11:52 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. Voters don't become confused! What office is this guy IRV running for anyway? nt
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WillYourVoteBCounted Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-29-09 12:22 AM
Response to Reply #10
11. Hah! in the Cary NC experiment, one candidate's name was Erv
and he just loved IRV.

Erv Portman. And Erv instructed his supporters to rank him 1st, 2nd and 3rd,
effectively negating his choices.

:O
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WillYourVoteBCounted Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-28-09 12:24 AM
Response to Reply #2
5. SF Grand Jury: Instant runoff not understood by voters and poll workers
Instant runoff not understood by voters and poll workers says San Francisco Grand Jury report issued

July 3, 2008. San Francisco.


The 2007-2008 San Francisco Civil Grand Jury review of five elections for the city/county of San Francisco

The report says that some voters and poll workers do not understand IRV, and that a back up plan is needed in case the new Sequoia system is not certified.

Excerpts of the Grand Jury Report

The 2007-2008 San Francisco Civil Grand Jury reviewed the materials provided by the Department of Elections for the November 2007 and February 2008 elections

Ranked-Choice Voting and Absentee (Vote By Mail) BallotsRCV ballots were used in the November 2007 election for the offices of Mayor, DistrictAttorney, and Sheriff. Some pollworkers and voters told the Jury that they did not understand how to vote for candidates where RCV ballots were used. In the November 2008 election, RCV ballots will be used for some local offices. Aditional education and outreach need to be provided to the voters to clarify the RCV process so that the ballots accurately reflect the intentions of the voters.

...more here
http://instantrunoff.blogspot.com/2008/07/instant-runof...


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tbyg52 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-28-09 05:26 PM
Response to Original message
9. I like it in theory, but
as far as I can see it's just being used to perpetuate electronic voting. Given *that* choice, I'll do without it, thanks.
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