News Release - Wednesday, March 06, 2002

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Green Party

Green Party Celebrates Election Reform Victory.

Instant Runoff Vote in San Francisco a major advance for voter choice.

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Greens hailed the passage of Proposition A in San Francisco with 56% of the vote yesterday, saying that San Francisco voters can now vote their hopes, not their fears. With Instant Runoff Voting (IRV), San Franciscans will be able to rank candidates in order of preference, without facing the dilemma that a vote for a favorite candidate in the Green Party or any other party might help elect their least favorite Democratic or Republican candidate.  

"IRV gives voters the opportunity to vote for their favorite candidate without giving in to the fear tactics played by major party candidates," said Dean Myerson, Political Coordinator of the Green Party of the United States.  

IRV allows voters to indicate a second preference on the ballot, and their votes will transfer to that candidate if no candidate wins a majority in the first count. Many voters have been dismayed, when voting in at-large elections, that a vote for a Green or other third party candidate might help elect somebody they don't like.  

"It's a victory for all voters who want greater choice and fair elections," added Myerson. 

Proposition A was placed on the ballot by a 10-1 vote of the San Francisco County Board of Supervisors, led by Green Party Supervisor, Matt Gonzalez. The nonpartisan Center for Voting and Democracy spearheaded the campaign, which was supported by many Green Party members. IRV will replace standard delayed runoff elections, which normally occur in December and have very low turnout. Canceling these extra runoff elections will save the County of San Francisco $2 million each time. 

The San Francisco initiative was supported by many groups, including the Green Party, Democratic Party, Sierra Club, San Francisco Labor Council, Common Cause, and NOW. It was opposed by Republicans who had hoped that progressive voters would continue to split their votes. IRV is currently used in Australia, Ireland, and Great Britain. The momentum in the U.S. for such voting reforms is increasing as Vermont moves to enact IRV; Alaska will hold a statewide referendum on IRV later this year. 

More Information:
The Green Party of the United States 
The Center for Voting and Democracy 

Nancy Allen, Media Coordinator, 207-326-4576, 
Scott McLarty, Media Coordinator, 202-518-5624,
Dean Myerson, Political Coordinator, 202-319-7191, 

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News Release - Wednesday, March 06, 2002

Home | Press