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Re: J.C. Mayor Seeks To End Runoff Elections
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Quote:

Yvonne wrote:
Dolomitic, 1. I never said to drop IRV in favor of no runoffs....

You said that the people who favor eliminating runoffs should stop talking about IRV. Thus, per your request, I stopped talking about IRV. I'm only discussing eliminating runoffs.

Try to keep up.


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2. Let's look at Ward A in 2013 council race. Dr. Epps had 43% and Gajewski had 37%. Dr. Epps did not compaign and did not attend the debate that I taped so voters gave the one who worked harder the vote the second time around. This could happen in any election. When you focus on the top two winners, voters have a second chance to vote.

That's nice. And hey, after several days of prodding, you're actually addressing the key question!

Unsurprisingly, your claims don't hold up. To wit: Candidates don't win elections because they "work harder" on the campaign trail. That's sheer nonsense.

We should recall that Gajewski ran with Fulop, and Epps was a Healy candidate. Given that Fulop's at-large candidates sweeped that election and that Healy affiliates all lost in the runoff, it's entirely plausible that Gajewski won because Fulop won.

In the general election, 6156 people voted for Ward A council. Gajewski got 2323 votes; Epps 2677. In the runoff, 3481 people voted (a 46% drop in turnout), Gajewski got 2101 votes, Epps 1380. I.e. Gajewski won with fewer votes than Epps got in the general election. Yay..?

I see no evidence that providing voters a second chance to vote mitigates the influence of donors. If anything, a runoff favors the candidate with more money or the backing of a stronger political machine, as the runoff extends and intensifies the campaign.

Finally, you undercut your own claims, in your comments about Fulop. After all, he ran in an electoral system with runoffs, and you still claim he is in thrall to developers. Care to explain that particular outcome? Or how anything about that would change, if they happened to get into a runoff instead of a solid 1st round win?

Posted on: 2015/11/8 15:36
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Re: J.C. Mayor Seeks To End Runoff Elections
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Dolomitic, 1. I never said to drop IRV in favor of no runoffs. I want runoffs, I want to hear the independent voice run against the developers' candidate. 2. Let's look at Ward A in 2013 council race. Dr. Epps had 43% and Gajewski had 37%. Dr. Epps did not compaign and did not attend the debate that I taped so voters gave the one who worked harder the vote the second time around. This could happen in any election. When you focus on the top two winners, voters have a second chance to vote. 3. Have you read Fulop's campaign list, I have? Have you read the resolutions that goes to politically connected people? So who will the donors give to, the incumbent or the independent? 3. As far as Zimmer, I have mentioned their vote happened during the mess of the Sandy Hurricane. Many people want that question off the ballot because they could not vote. Zimmer made sure her people voted but the basic voter was more worried about their homes and cars under water than an election.

Posted on: 2015/11/8 14:59
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Re: J.C. Mayor Seeks To End Runoff Elections
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shakatah wrote:
In no election in this country is the standard for winning more than 50% of registered voters. If that was the case we would have exactly ZERO elected officials.

First, there are some elections without runoffs. In 2009, Dawn Zimmer was elected mayor with 43% of the vote; it was a special election, so there were no runoffs. Democracy did not die that day.

Second, it is patently false to claim we would have "zero" elected officials if we had elections without runoffs. That makes no sense whatsoever.


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So let's slow down a bit so this registers. In this country the standard for getting elected is generally getting a majority (50%+1) of people who voted in the election. Why??? Well because we don't mandate voting in America.

Uh, no. That has absolutely nothing to do with it.

Many nations have both compulsory voting and runoffs.

Australia has both compulsory voting, and IRV for its lower legislature.

There is no logical connection between compulsory voting and runoffs.

And again: The point of a majority vote is that, in theory, it represents the stronger will of the people. That is eviscerated when a candidate often gets elected with fewer votes in the runoff, than they got in the general election.


Quote:
What some of you are proposing is to reduce the standard for getting elected from 50%+1 (majority of voters who chose to participate in the election) to something lower.

Yes. We know. We are well aware that we're talking about a plurality instead of a majority.

And when runoffs produce the same result as the 1st round in 86% of elections, and when turnouts are significantly lower in the runoffs, then maybe runoffs don't make much sense.


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Implosion: It will be the people who benefit from reducing the standard for getting elected from majority of ballots cast in the election to some lower standard against those who are harmed by this change.

Yet again: Repetition is not an argument. Neither is what amounts to an appeal to tradition, and/or an insistence that 51% is a magic number.

More to the point: You have not demonstrated any genuine harm here. You're basically just saying that if things aren't the way you want them, it will be bad bad bad. *Yawn*

Posted on: 2015/11/8 14:56
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Re: J.C. Mayor Seeks To End Runoff Elections
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Dolomitic, in America voting is a right not mandated, so people choosing not to vote is their perogative. Get that??? If someone chooses not to vote it is their business, not yours or mine.

In no election in this country is the standard for winning more than 50% of registered voters. If that was the case we would have exactly ZERO elected officials. So let's slow down a bit so this registers. In this country the standard for getting elected is generally getting a majority (50%+1) of people who voted in the election. Why??? Well because we don't mandate voting in America. Get it, our constitution guarantees a right to vote, it doesn't require us to use that right.

Are folks who don't vote doing themself a disservice? Sure, but that is their right.

What some of you are proposing is to reduce the standard for getting elected from 50%+1 (majority of voters who chose to participate in the election) to something lower.

Implosion: It will be the people who benefit from reducing the standard for getting elected from majority of ballots cast in the election to some lower standard against those who are harmed by this change. The big drawback for you is that although you may not like it, in America the majority still rules in elections.

Posted on: 2015/11/8 14:30
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Re: J.C. Mayor Seeks To End Runoff Elections
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Yvonne wrote:
So tell me Dolomiti, what legislator have this on his/her agenda? etc

1) You said to drop IRV, so I'm not referring to IRV. Let's eliminate runoffs, period. No Trenton, no new machines.

2) You STILL have not explained how runoffs magically thwart the will of big money donors.

Or are you trying to say that Fulop is less influenced by developers than Dawn Zimmer?

Posted on: 2015/11/8 14:29
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Re: J.C. Mayor Seeks To End Runoff Elections
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So tell me Dolomiti, what legislator have this on his/her agenda? If you cannot give me a name, then who is lying? It must be a someone who represent JC. This is the classic example of political smoke and mirrors. You talk about something, that Fulop cannot legally do. Plus there will be cost. The county would have to buy new machines because the tallying on those machines could not take place on the present machines. What will that cost? And why would the rest of the county want to foot that bill? As it is they are not receiving all tax payments due to tax abatements. I am sure Hoboken would raise a concern, they pay more than per person than JC to the county and they don't use this method.

Posted on: 2015/11/8 14:14
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Re: J.C. Mayor Seeks To End Runoff Elections
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Yvonne wrote:
If runoffs are eliminated in JC, it will be similar to Hoboken. It will favor the candidate with the developers' money and the independent voice will be silent.

And again, there is nothing magical about runoffs that in any way minimizes the influence of developers, or other wealthy donors.

Stop lying to the public, Yvonne.

Posted on: 2015/11/8 14:03
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Re: J.C. Mayor Seeks To End Runoff Elections
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shakatah wrote:
So if the problem is that enough people don't vote in runoffs, then make it easier for people to vote in runoffs. Why eliminate them instead of fixing what is wrong?

Runoffs use the same exact electoral process as the normal elections. They're just as "easy" as any other election. Turnout is lower because people can't be bothered to show up.


Quote:
I love that no one has provided an answer to why the electorate should entertain any effort to reduce the standard for winning an election from 50% +1 of votes cast to something less.

Uh... yes, some of us have.

1) Additional elections are expensive
2) Over 80% of runoff elections in JC are won by the person who came in first place anyway
3) Turnouts are much lower, which turns the "51%" standard into a joke

We don't normally hold the majority standard for arbitrary reasons; the idea is that a majority vote is supposed to indicate the will of most of the people. However, this is undermined when fewer people bother to vote in the runoff.

Let's say 100,000 people vote in the 1st round, and Joe Candidate is in first place with 30% of the vote (30,000 votes). In the runoff election, 46,000 people vote, and Joe wins 51% of the vote... with 23,460 votes. Joe becomes mayor based on the decision of fewer people. It should be very clear that low turnouts in runoffs undermines the claim that a majority in the runoff represents the choice of more citizens.


Quote:
The implosion might be slow but it will be certain, watch for it if eliminating runoffs when no candidate gets 50% +1 is pushed in Jersey City.

There will be no "implosion."

The whole fear-mongering thing is really, really, really tiresome. The world will not end because you didn't get your way.

Posted on: 2015/11/8 14:01
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Re: J.C. Mayor Seeks To End Runoff Elections
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IRV is nothing but a red herring, or a distraction. Fulop cannot adopt this because it is not in the state codes. Do you think Senator Cunningham would introduce this in Trenton? If you look at the numbers in Wards A and Ward F, they voted against changing the election. Cunningham will not go against the black community and if McKnight did this, she would be an one term Assemblyperson. Hoboken does not use this method. I called my friend there, he said you can win with 20% of vote if that is the top number. It takes years to have new laws passed in Trenton and no one in Trenton is talking about this. So Fulop people - stop lying to the public. If runoffs are eliminated in JC, it will be similar to Hoboken. It will favor the candidate with the developers' money and the independent voice will be silent.

Posted on: 2015/11/8 12:35
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Re: J.C. Mayor Seeks To End Runoff Elections
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shakatah wrote:
So if the problem is that enough people don't vote in runoffs, then make it easier for people to vote in runoffs. Why eliminate them instead of fixing what is wrong?


The fix involves implementing IRV amongst other recommendations: http://www.fairvote.org/research-and-analysis/voter-turnout/

Quote:

I love that no one has provided an answer to why the electorate should entertain any effort to reduce the standard for winning an election from 50% +1 of votes cast to something less.
...


Single runoff doesn't necessarily produce a majority winner under Condorcet method. "...any election method that elects the candidate that would win by majority rule in all pairings against the other candidates" . By this measure, the existing two-round system is flawed. A true supporter of 50%+1 would lobby for IRV. Failing that - it's really down to deciding what is the least bad alternative. And that's where cost and participation enter the equation.

Majority vote: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Condorcet_method
Current: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Two-round_system
Fulop's proposal: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First-past-the-post_voting
IRV: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Instant-runoff_voting

Posted on: 2015/11/8 12:06
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Re: J.C. Mayor Seeks To End Runoff Elections
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So if the problem is that enough people don't vote in runoffs, then make it easier for people to vote in runoffs. Why eliminate them instead of fixing what is wrong?

I love that no one has provided an answer to why the electorate should entertain any effort to reduce the standard for winning an election from 50% +1 of votes cast to something less. But we are all free to put our head in the sand if we chose.

The implosion might be slow but it will be certain, watch for it if eliminating runoffs when no candidate gets 50% +1 is pushed in Jersey City.

Posted on: 2015/11/7 17:53
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Re: J.C. Mayor Seeks To End Runoff Elections
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shakatah wrote:
Quote:

dtjcview wrote:
Quote:

shakatah wrote:
..

I still haven't had an answer to why any unelected citizen would want to move from a process where the standard for winning an election is getting 50%+1 of the votes cast to one which requires a lower number to win? Why should someone who is on a ballot win without getting a majority?

...


I should be able to vote once and be done. A separate runoff disenfranchises a large % of vote - no matter how you care to justify it.


You have the right to vote once now if you chose. You have the right to not vote if you chose. None of these individual rights infringe on the right of others. What you are proposing harms others by devaluing the vote so you don't have to deal with the inconvenience of doing something you are free not to engage in if you chose.

I can't see how a rationale person justifies that, but hey that is the beauty of a democracy, we all have opinions but majority rules. I welcome the opportunity to have a public conversation about eliminating runoffs when no candidate gets 50% +1.

Thankfully, the electorate is smarter than some of us would like.


IRV doesn't infringe any of those so-called rights as far as majorities go - but it appears you have difficulty with the math. And runoffs with lower turnout are easier manipulated - it's easy to see how special interest groups support them given how easily they can be abused. Are you in a union?




Posted on: 2015/11/7 17:31
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Re: J.C. Mayor Seeks To End Runoff Elections
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dtjcview wrote:
Quote:

shakatah wrote:
..

I still haven't had an answer to why any unelected citizen would want to move from a process where the standard for winning an election is getting 50%+1 of the votes cast to one which requires a lower number to win? Why should someone who is on a ballot win without getting a majority?

...


I should be able to vote once and be done. A separate runoff disenfranchises a large % of vote - no matter how you care to justify it.


You have the right to vote once now if you chose. You have the right to not vote if you chose. None of these individual rights infringe on the right of others. What you are proposing harms others by devaluing the vote so you don't have to deal with the inconvenience of doing something you are free not to engage in if you chose.

I can't see how a rationale person justifies that, but hey that is the beauty of a democracy, we all have opinions but majority rules. I welcome the opportunity to have a public conversation about eliminating runoffs when no candidate gets 50% +1.

Thankfully, the electorate is smarter than some of us would like.

Posted on: 2015/11/7 16:48
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Re: J.C. Mayor Seeks To End Runoff Elections
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shakatah wrote:
..

I still haven't had an answer to why any unelected citizen would want to move from a process where the standard for winning an election is getting 50%+1 of the votes cast to one which requires a lower number to win? Why should someone who is on a ballot win without getting a majority?

...


I should be able to vote once and be done. A separate runoff disenfranchises a large % of vote - no matter how you care to justify it.

Posted on: 2015/11/7 15:41
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Re: J.C. Mayor Seeks To End Runoff Elections
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I actually spoke to someone in the election process, I was told the state would have to change legislation to do this. I doubt if this is on the agenda in Trenton.

Posted on: 2015/11/7 15:33
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Re: J.C. Mayor Seeks To End Runoff Elections
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Yvonne wrote:
People will say anything to justify an argument.


Congrats, you're the winner when it come to this.

Posted on: 2015/11/7 15:22
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Re: J.C. Mayor Seeks To End Runoff Elections
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Dolomiti wrote:
After reading the NJ.com article, I'm sold on eliminating runoffs.

86% of JC runoffs elect the person who was in first place.

Runoffs also have lower turnouts. The idea that "you need a majority vote!" is eviscerated by the fact that there are fewer people voting in the runoffs, sometimes as much as 46% less.

I'd prefer IRV, but even without that, I say kill the runoffs.


You miss the point. We don't force people to vote. So your argument that most people don't vote in runoffs so the runoffs should be eliminated is irrelevant. The point is that the winner must currently get 50%+1 OF THE PEOPLE WHO VOTED. Eliminating runoffs would reduce that standard. Whether people chose to vote or not is their right and none of your business or mine.

Posted on: 2015/11/7 14:21
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Re: J.C. Mayor Seeks To End Runoff Elections
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People will say anything to justify an argument. The fact is fewer people are voting in general that does not mean you eliminate runoffs. Perhaps people are not voting because they do not like the people running for office. That is the famous quote? "All politicians are ." Full in the word.

Posted on: 2015/11/7 14:18
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Re: J.C. Mayor Seeks To End Runoff Elections
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The point is that no variation of instant runoffs described to me leaves voters with a vote that has the same impact as the current process. if anything voting reforms should make voting easier to do and easier to understand, not more complex. Making voting more complex achieves one thing: remove or marginalize less sophisticated voters. Does that sound at all familiar?? Where have we seen that before, who perpetrates these scemes on the electorate and to what end.

Not one single argument made in support of instant runoffs here is a good enough reason to pursue them. The great thing is to go down that road would need state law and/or the majority of voters in this city. I'll be first in line fighting any attempts to eliminate runoffs because doing so when there is no primary process, as is the case in JC municipal elections, hurts democracy by devaluing the votes of some while increasing the value of others. This would've worked extremely well for the rulers in South Africa right after apartheid ended.

I still haven't had an answer to why any unelected citizen would want to move from a process where the standard for winning an election is getting 50%+1 of the votes cast to one which requires a lower number to win? Why should someone who is on a ballot win without getting a majority?

What country do we live in?




Posted on: 2015/11/7 14:15
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Re: J.C. Mayor Seeks To End Runoff Elections
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After reading the NJ.com article, I'm sold on eliminating runoffs.

86% of JC runoffs elect the person who was in first place.

Runoffs also have lower turnouts. The idea that "you need a majority vote!" is eviscerated by the fact that there are fewer people voting in the runoffs, sometimes as much as 46% less.

I'd prefer IRV, but even without that, I say kill the runoffs.

Posted on: 2015/11/7 13:49
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Re: J.C. Mayor Seeks To End Runoff Elections
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This video should be placed here to show how absurd the idea.
https://youtu.be/JtKAScORevQ

Posted on: 2015/11/7 13:31
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Re: J.C. Mayor Seeks To End Runoff Elections
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shakatah wrote:
Don't dance Brewster. I posed the question of what happens if I only wanted to vote for two of five candidates and you said instant runoffs require you to rank all candidates, which means I would not be able to choose only 2. Ranking all candidates is VOTING FOR ALL CANDIDATES IN ORDER OF PREFERENCE, which in my mind is problematic for reasons I outlined in previous posts.

Also, please don't lump me in with others to discredit the validity of my argument. I never said I sit out an election, I VOTE IN EVERY election, so does every member of my family who is eligible. Forcing me to vote for people I don't want to vote for if I want my vote to count is less than VOTING in my opinion. It actually decreases the impact of the majority's vote, same as inserting multiple candidates in a race to siphon votes from your opposition.

I love ice cream. Instant runoff my ice cream preference all you want but Voting isn't the same as choosing ice cream flavors, it should not be a process where you are forced to vote for candidates whose policies, ideas, are completely inconsistent with yours.

ANYONE can get on a ballot. That is a great thing, but getting on a ballot should not mean that the electorate is then FORCED to VOTE for you if they want their vote to count. That is a false choice.


Not all variations of IRV require you to rank all candidates. And your earlier point about losing your vote is no different to a separate runoff. Let's say you vote for a dem on a field of 2 dems and 2 republicans. The 2 dems lose and the 2 republicans go into a runoff. Would you cast a vote in the runoff? With IRV - rank the republicans if you want to express a preference. Not ranking them is the equivalent of not voting in a separate runoff.

http://www.fairvote.org/reforms/insta ... tant-runoff-voting-works/

Posted on: 2015/11/7 13:01
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Re: J.C. Mayor Seeks To End Runoff Elections
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Don't dance Brewster. I posed the question of what happens if I only wanted to vote for two of five candidates and you said instant runoffs require you to rank all candidates, which means I would not be able to choose only 2. Ranking all candidates is VOTING FOR ALL CANDIDATES IN ORDER OF PREFERENCE, which in my mind is problematic for reasons I outlined in previous posts.

Also, please don't lump me in with others to discredit the validity of my argument. I never said I sit out an election, I VOTE IN EVERY election, so does every member of my family who is eligible. Forcing me to vote for people I don't want to vote for if I want my vote to count is less than VOTING in my opinion. It actually decreases the impact of the majority's vote, same as inserting multiple candidates in a race to siphon votes from your opposition.

I love ice cream. Instant runoff my ice cream preference all you want but Voting isn't the same as choosing ice cream flavors, it should not be a process where you are forced to vote for candidates whose policies, ideas, are completely inconsistent with yours.

ANYONE can get on a ballot. That is a great thing, but getting on a ballot should not mean that the electorate is then FORCED to VOTE for you if they want their vote to count. That is a false choice.

Posted on: 2015/11/7 12:36
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Re: J.C. Mayor Seeks To End Runoff Elections
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shakatah wrote:
Yes Brewster, I read it carefully. Here's what I think you are not getting. Nothing currently forces me to vote FOR all candidates on a ballot, the instant runoff description you posted would FORCE me to vote for each of those candidates when I am FORCED to rank all of them IF I want my vote to count. Otherwise my vote, cast legally, could be thrown out.

And another issue is this: those candidates could be a mixture of democrats and republicans, etc. So we would be ok FORCING a republican to VOTE for a democrat and vice versa by FORCING them to rank All candidates if they want their vote counted?


How is any of that worse than having your vote for a candidate that finishes less than 2nd not count at all and not be transferred to a candidate for whom it will count? The ideological rigidity boggles me: "I don't want my vote given to somebody I don't like even if everyone I do has already been eliminated". You and Bamboozle seem to think someone cares that you won't vote when you don't like the choices, but they don't. All you're doing in that case is giving up what influence you can have, that vote you've been given.

Like I said, If at the bottom of my list I had to choose between Trump, and Carson, I could, even though both are heinous to me. My point is even at the bottom of the barrel there's still shades of gray. Dark gray, but gray.

Posted on: 2015/11/7 2:32

Edited by brewster on 2015/11/7 2:51:20
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Re: J.C. Mayor Seeks To End Runoff Elections
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Yes Brewster, I read it carefully. Here's what I think you are not getting. Nothing currently forces me to vote FOR all candidates on a ballot, the instant runoff description you posted would FORCE me to vote for each of those candidates when I am FORCED to rank all of them IF I want my vote to count. Otherwise my vote, cast legally, could be thrown out.

And another issue is this: those candidates could be a mixture of democrats and republicans, etc. So we would be ok FORCING a republican to VOTE for a democrat and vice versa by FORCING them to rank All candidates if they want their vote counted?

Posted on: 2015/11/7 1:42

Edited by shakatah on 2015/11/7 2:05:32
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Re: J.C. Mayor Seeks To End Runoff Elections
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shakatah wrote:
What happens to my vote if my 2 choices are not in the top 2? I'll tell you what happens, it gets thrown out because I did not chose any of the top candidates, it's like I never voted. The only way to honor my act of voting is to assign my vote to someone else.


I don't understand why you're having so much trouble with this. Did you read actually the description? You rank ALL the candidates. Your vote is never thrown out. As discussed earlier, you may have to hold your nose and choose the lesser evil as you get to the bottom of the list, but your vote ALWAYS counts.

Since words are getting put in my mouth all over the place, let me say I think eliminating the primary without enacting ranked voting isn't the greatest idea. But I choose it over the May vote date as the better enhancement of Democracy. As I've said, sometimes you've got to hold your nose and choose even when neither choice is optimal.

Posted on: 2015/11/7 1:32
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Re: J.C. Mayor Seeks To End Runoff Elections
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Brewster you and all citizens should be concerned if ANY part of my post is accurate. Moving the benchmark for winning an election from 50% +1 to anything less decreases democracy. Why any citizen would want to make it easier for someone to get elected to "represent" them is mind boggling to me.

On my first paragraph below: if there are 5 candidates running and I chose 2 of them as my choices, no others. What happens to my vote if my 2 choices are not in the top 2? I'll tell you what happens, it gets thrown out because I did not chose any of the top candidates, it's like I never voted. The only way to honor my act of voting is to assign my vote to someone else. Neither of these scenarios is the equivalent of the way my vote is treated under the current process, so in essence instant runoffs offers something less than the power of my vote under the current process. ALL of us who are not elected officials should be concerned about that. Increase voter participation by all means but simultaneously moving to decrease the impact of all individual votes should scare us all.

Posted on: 2015/11/7 1:20
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Re: J.C. Mayor Seeks To End Runoff Elections
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Fulop's people read this board, let's not be naive about this. This is an important issue. Somewhere down the road Gajewski will have to address this.

Posted on: 2015/11/7 1:11
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Re: J.C. Mayor Seeks To End Runoff Elections
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Yvonne wrote:
Sorry, but it is arrogant for you, Brewster, to speak for someone else. You did not win a runoff election, so allow the person who won respond to my question.


You came to jclist for Gajewski's opinion?

Posted on: 2015/11/6 23:56
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Re: J.C. Mayor Seeks To End Runoff Elections
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Yvonne wrote:
Sorry, but it is arrogant for you, Brewster, to speak for someone else. You did not win a runoff election, so allow the person who won respond to my question.


While this exchange is pretty amusing to me, you really do seem a lot more off than usual. Is everything ok with you?

Posted on: 2015/11/6 23:52
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