'A better way' to good elections

from the Observer:

"North Carolina’s primary election on May 8 saw a high turnout, with nearly three times as many voters showing up as in 2010’s primary."

Unfortunately, the primary runoff elections on Tuesday will likely drop to single digit turnout – yet cost N.C. taxpayers well over $4 million. Most of the winners of the 15 runoffs for statewide, congressional and legislative primaries likely will receive fewer votes than their races’ losers received in May...


According to reports earlier today, the state BOE staff are projecting a turn-out not just in the single digits, but as low as 2% of registered voters. While some might differ with the proposal in this Charlotte Observer article, something needs to be changed in our second primary system in NC.


Either talk up the 2nd primaries...

...or lower the threshold to 35%, or use some other formula to figure it out. But forget IRV!

Remember the 2010 Court of Appeals IRV race where the winner got slightly less than 28% of the first column vote? That was supposed to be an improvement over the 24% in the 2004 NC Supreme Court race.

And remember that Don Frantz only got 1401 votes in the end to win the 2007 Cary IRV race - a race he would have needed 1512 out of 3022 votes to win in the first round?

In about 95% of IRV races the highest first-column vote getter wins once all the ballots are exhausted. They don't get a real majority either. IRV delivers only a slightly larger plurality win.

That's because in 66% of the runoff elections, the winner of the first race wins the runoff.

But then again, in the 2011 Wake BOEd runoff, the turnout was higher than in the general election. My precinct had greater turnout for the one sole BOEd race than we had for all the races on the October ballot.

Perhaps we could raise interest in these runoff races instead of spending all our time running commercials and hyping November?

Chris Telesca
Wake County Verified Voting