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
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.
The Green Party of the United States http://www.gp.org
The Center for Voting and Democracy http://www.fairvote.org
Nancy Allen, Media Coordinator, 207-326-4576, firstname.lastname@example.org
Scott McLarty, Media Coordinator, 202-518-5624, email@example.com
Dean Myerson, Political Coordinator, 202-319-7191, GPHQ--at--gp.org