Last year Pierce County voters approved a landmark charter amendment implementing instant runoff voting (IRV) for most county offices, but now that the auditor's office has had some issues preparing for the 2008 county elections several politicians including outgoing Executive John Ladenburg are seeking to postpone the implementation of the new system or do away with it completely. The issue at hand, according to Pat McCarthy (the county auditor), is that all available voting software is unable to rank more than three candidates. This revelation will probably force voters to choose the next path in the form of more charter amendments, depending on how many are chosen to go to ballot by the county council. Ladenburg wants to get rid of the system altogether (apparently now that he's term-limited out of office he no longer cares about the will of voters?), while Dick Muri is supporting a postponement of the system until 2010. McCarthy believes a delay isn't necessary and prefers either changing the system to ranking the top three or changing to all-mail voting as to temporarily eliminate the need for the necessary software.
Pierce voters already approved the system so coming back and telling them to second-guess themselves is ridiculous. While I typically dislike it when an elections office wants to change to all-mail voting, since it takes away voter choice, in this instance it's probably the best and least intrusive way to remedy the situation. Without suitable software to implement the system electronically it makes sense to go all-paper in order to meet voters' wishes.
Labels: Election Reform