Undemocratic "instant-runoff" voting is a giant step in the wrong direction.

by James K. Sayre


Can you imagine the cries of outrage across the country if millions of Republicans and teabaggers had been forced to rank-vote for the Democratic candidate Senator Baruck Obama in last November's Presidential Election?

With instant-runoff voting or ranked-choice voting, I will be forced to vote for a candidate that I do not like. In the coming Oakland Mayoral Election, I will be forced to rank-vote Ms. Jean Quan, whom I considered to be unqualified to become Mayor. Several years ago, in 2005, there was a big dispute about a plan to spray toxic chlorinated hydrocarbon herbicides over vast areas of the Oakland Hills to try to kill off some dreaded "non-native" plants growing there for the dubious notion of "fire prevention." (note: since all these plants are grown from seed in California, they are California natvie-born; let's grant them citizenship, just as we do for human babies born here). Ms. Quan turned out to be a big cheerleader for spraying herbicides all over the hills, willy-nilly. She seems to have no environmental training or consciousness in her background, so I do not want to see her become Mayor of Oakland. With this new ranked-voting system in place, I will have to write-in several other names to avoid giving Ms. Quan a relatively high "ranking." It is extremely undemocratic to force voters to vote by ranking for candidates that they don't like.

The City Council of Oakland, CA has approved the so-called "instant-runoff" voting method as a way of skipping the traditional primary election in June and supposedly saving taxpayers money. Eliminating primary elections is not a step towards more democracy, it is a step towards less democracy...

Let us return to holding our traditional primary elections in June. Cutting corners in our election process is a false economy.

And don't forget how ranked-voting gave us the convicted criminal Ed Jew, former SF supervisor. His short reign ended with multiple charges of election fraud and other corruption. So, ranked-voting is no panacea for our many civic ills.




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