Monday, April 27, 2009

Instant Runoff Voting Case Goes to the Minnesota Supreme Court

/PRNewswire / -- The Minnesota Voters Alliance case against the City of Minneapolis to prevent implementation of Instant Runoff Voting (IRV) is headed for the Minnesota Supreme Court on Wednesday, May 13th. The Alliance filed an appeal of a lower court decision in January. The City filed for expedited appeal to the Supreme Court.

The voting rights affected by IRV and being fought over have national significance.

The initial ruling from Hennepin County District Court concerning the constitutionality of IRV was full of factual misconceptions and faulty legal arguments.

The court failed to grasp the concept embodied in State Supreme Court precedent that when a voter votes for the candidate of his choice, his vote must be counted as one, and it cannot be defeated or its effect lessened, except by the vote of another elector voting for one other candidate. IRV violates this fundamental principle.

Even though IRV fails to count all ballots equally and places voters in the position of not knowing whether their first choice vote will help or hurt their favorite candidate, the district somehow found that not to conflict with basic notions of constitutional principles.

IRV can force voters to either dilute the strength of their ballot by not ranking all the candidates, or to rank candidates they do not prefer at all. Thus, the voter must either violate his own equal protection rights, because other ballots would carry more weight, or violate his own association rights, by having to vote for a candidate he or she opposes.

We believe the Supreme Court will overturn the district's ruling and uphold the principle of one person, one vote!

From attorney, Erick Kaardal, "We hope all citizens, opposed and for IRV, pay close attention to the case. It is the most important case for our democracy in over 90 years."

The IRV case could easily end up in the U. S. Supreme Court because of the unique issues and arguments presented under the Minnesota and United States Constitutions. This case could lead they way to protect the rights of all voters, especially those who do not want to freely give them up.

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  1. The Minnesota Voters Alliance claims that IRV is unconstitutional because it is unmonotonic, yet so are regular runoffs. Is anyone out there saying runoff elections are unconstitional? No. This case is a waste of time.

  2. "Anonymous" - its "non monotonic" not "unmonotonic". And what it means is that you can harm your preferred candidate by ranking them first in your choices, because of the sorting and reallocating of the votes in IRV.
    In a traditional runoff, you cannot harm your preferred choice by voting for them.


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