Instant runoffs in Aspen?
Dear Editor:The editorial in Friday’s Aspen Times bemoans the low turnout in the recent runoff election between Dee Malone and Jack Johnson. This is a problem that is not unique to Aspen. Low turnout is typical in runoff elections. That is why a number of enlightened communities have adopted an improved voting procedure when there are three or more candidates in an election. These communities include Cambridge, Mass., San Francisco and Basalt.The objective of a runoff election is to ensure that the winning candidate is supported by a majority of the voters. A better method to accomplish this objective is to use instant runoff voting (IRV). This procedure ensures that the winning candidate is supported by a majority of the voters. It removes the twin problems of low voter turnout and the unnecessary expenses of additional campaigning and running a second election. IRV also has the benefit of strongly discouraging negative campaigning when there are three or more candidates.Interested citizens and the editorial staff of The Aspen Times can learn more about this voting procedure by getting on the Internet and entering “instant runoff voting” into Google or some other search engine.Peter FreyBasalt
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Basalt mayoral candidates Bill Kane and Rob Leavitt said at a Feb. 10 forum they endorsed the town government’s $1.34 million expenditure to expand a riverfront park. Candidate and councilman Bill Infante said not so fast and provided an alternative view.