Letter to Ms. Norwood and Mr. Reed on Rank Voting

In Open Letter on November 19, 2009 at 8:16 PM

November 18, 2009

Ms. Mary Norwood
Atlanta Mayoral Candidate
591-A Edgewood Avenue, SE
Atlanta, GA 30312

Mr. Kasim Reed
Atlanta Mayoral Candidate
964 Ralph David Abernathy Boulevard, SW
Atlanta, GA 30310-1833

Dear Ms. Norwood and Mr. Reed,

The Mayoral race is heating up, now entering a final run-off election scheduled for December 1. While exciting, the event will, no doubt, require from the City of Atlanta additional time, money and resources set aside and re-allocated toward the costs and burdens of implementing a second round election that could have easily been avoided in the first place.

Aggregated, measurable expenses resulting from “Round 2,” including more intangible aspects related to traffic, ad signage and the like, could be avoided entirely by politicians advocating to adopt the more meritocratic and cost-effective voting system called Instant Runoff Voting (IRV).

Instant Runoff Voting is a form of voting where candidates are ranked in order by individual voters. An initial vote occurs upfront as usual in this arrangement. If no single candidate captures a majority in the first round of voting, then an automatic round two kicks in, instantly accounting for the remaining rankings so that a new winner is named quickly and with broadened citizen support, click here.

Organizations like U.S. PIRGs, i.e., U.S. Public Interest Research Groups, and Australia’s House of Representatives have already advocated so-called Rank Voting measures in their political reform agendas, with great effect. Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee signed a bill into law legalizing IRV for citizens and military personnel voting overseas back in 2006.

Considering the current jobless recovery in Atlanta, savings are clearly capable of being spent elsewhere, e.g., on police enforcement and transportation revitalization initiatives.

In advance of December 1, I would appreciate a brief, pledged position statement on Instant Runoff Voting, so that voters like myself might decide for themselves who makes the better candidate as they vote in this year’s costly and avoidable Round 2 election.

P.S. I have attached the contact information of the 4 mayoral candidates having previously competed in the November 3 election, as well as the Atlanta Journal-Constitution newspaper. I am also attaching a transcript of this e-mail for your convenience.


James Breedlove


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