A presentation on IRV that even the City Council could understand

18 Mar

At Tuesday night’s Council meeting, instant runoff voting (IRV) was on the agenda again. You might be wondering – haven’t they run out of IRV topics to discuss? No, not yet, and since last night’s vote was a tie, we’ll be hearing about it at least once more in the near future.

The agenda item was about a proposal put forward by Councilmembers Ignacio De La Fuente and Rebecca Kaplan to transfer funds from public financing of local campaigns to use them for IRV education. I’ll get to that vote in a minute, but before the long discussion on the merits of that proposal ensued, Alameda County Registrar of Voters Dave MacDonald gave the Council a presentation on how IRV works.

All of the councilmembers thought his presentation was the best thing ever, with every member (except Larry Reid, who didn’t speak) going on and on about how this presentation finally made sense and begging MacDonald to show this to everyone and translate it to other languages. They also wanted MacDonald to put the presentation online, and since that’s unlikely to happen anytime soon, I thought I’d share it here. It’s a bit long, but if you still have any questions about IRV, this will probably answer it:

After the Council finished praising MacDonald, they jumped into the discussion of De La Fuente & Kaplan’s proposal and then the praise quickly dissipated. You can read what I wrote about it on Twitter, but in the end, after seemingly hours of back and forth, the vote tied. So you can tune in again next time to hear about IRV some more.

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