We support Instant Runoff Voting | AspenTimes.com

We support Instant Runoff Voting

The November election doesn’t boast those issues that often polarize the community, from the Entrance to Aspen to affordable housing … and we hardly expect a rousing turnout Nov. 6.

But voters’ approval of one ballot question means they won’t have to vote as often. We’re referring to Referendum 2E, which asks Aspen residents to approve Instant Runoff Voting, or IRV.

Approval of IRV would eliminate the possibility of a second election if no candidates for City Council and mayor receive a majority of votes in the May election.

IRV allows voters to rank candidates in order of preference ” first, second, third, etc. First choices are tabulated, and if a candidate receives the majority of first choices, then he or she is elected. If no one receives the majority of votes on the first count, a series of runoffs are simulated using the preferences indicated by each voter on the ballot.

When the idea of IRV was pondered over the summer, it was a measure we thoroughly supported, and we do now as well. As we noted in August, in the 2001, 2003 and 2005 city elections, the runoff contests only served to confirm the results from the original election. Voter turnout also dropped in the runoff elections, indicating that most voters suffer from political burnout after the May campaign cycle.

IRV would put an end to this, and Aspen voters no longer would be asked to cast votes twice on the same race in another election.

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On Nov. 6, vote YES for Instant Runoff Voting.