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President, Californians for Electoral Reform www.cfer.org
@Hobart Johnson: "The numbers indicate that most registered voters in Oakland (over 50%) simply did not vote in this election. " And from that you conclude they didn't understand RCV?!? You might just as easily argue that they didn't understand how to vote in the runoff elections between the top two candidates for the statewide, Congressional, and legislative elections.
A more plausible argument is that most of the folks who didn't vote didn't find anything of interest to them on the ballot. With no exciting (for them) "top-of-the-ticket" race, they decided to sit this one out.
Tony, that's not how RCV works. If person X voted for Perata in column 1, that vote stayed with Perata in round 1, round 2, and all the way to the last round, whether or not that person ranked any other candidates.
Every court that has considered RCV (and there have been many) has held it constitutional, even as applied, even as applied in San Francisco, which uses the same ballot format as Oakland.
Larry Tramutola doesn't even live in Oakland; he lives in Piedmont. Yet he launched the group that is trying to repeal RCV one way or another. Should a Piedmont resident be trying to control how Oakland votes?
@Mr. Pine: "All of Jean Quan's votes, from those who listed her first to those who simply filled out their list of three with her name, added up to 44 percent of the voters." Actually, that's not true. If you examine the raw ballot file, you'll discover that 74,860 voters listed her as a first, second, or third choice (even if they listed Don Perata above her), whereas only 65,652 voters listed Perata as a first, second, or third choice (even if they listed Quan above him). Using this as an indication of approval (not that I'm a fan of approval voting, but that seems to be the metric you prefer), and using (as you seem to do) 122,268 total votes cast as the denominator (this includes 2,306 voters who skipped the Mayor's race entirely), Quan was approved by 61.2% of the voters, whereas Perata was approved by only 53.7% of them.
That seems like a majority mandate to me.
@Mr. Walker: RCV would not have caused Ralph Nader to be elected, even if he were everyone's second choice, and even if we used national RCV to elect the President. With only 2.74% of the vote (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States…), he would have been eliminated along with the rest of the minor party and independent candidates. The race would still have come down to Gore or Bush.
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