Instant-runoff voting on its way

Ben Chipman, a Green party member on Portland's Charter Commission, reports that the commission has preliminarily moved toward recommending instant-runoff voting as the method for selecting the city's mayor.

While there are legitimate concerns about IRV (as Al Diamon notes - though he misses another major criticism, which is the lack of proportional representation achieved through IRV), it does have the advantage of allowing people to vote for third-party candidates who may well lose, without feeling like they've wasted their vote when it could also have supported a like-minded major-party candidate.

Chipman tried to get IRV put in place for all municipal elected positions, but was only able to get it through for the elected mayor's position the charter commission is proposing.

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