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Senior Statistician at Oxford University on Ranked Choice Voting Strategies

A RECENT article by Dr. Jack O’Brien of Oxford University has raised the hackles of the the Ranked Choice Voting salesmen.  Mr. O’Brien describes the complex tactical considerations voters must decide when using Ranked Choice Voting.  He also laments about the complexity of the rules and strategies.

FairVote, the group responsible for selling Ranked Choice Voting in the United States, calls this Oxford Statistician’s analysis “irresponsible”.  Implies he does;t know what he’s tailing about.  I’m sure this is the first time Dr. O’Brien’s analysis has been attacked in such manner.

Interestingly, FairVote makes a lots money off running a consulting service to administer Ranked Choice Voting elections.  But wait, there’s more; FairVote’s leader was quoted recently in the Wall Street Journal as to wanting to keep the ranking results secret, and just announce the “winner”. “I’ve come to believe we shouldn’t put all the rankings (results) out there for for people to mull over and second-guess the outcomes”.  I guess if you count the ballots, and decide the winner, you don’t want anyone else to see how it was done.


City Council Divided on Giving $19K to Lawbreakers for Instant Runoff Voting Education

St. Paul’s local paper REPORTS on a round of contentious discussions within the City COuncil about FairVote Minnesota’s history and the need to give them $19K to educate the public on Instant Runoff Voting.

in 2009, the state found that the St. Paul Better Ballot Campaign, part of FairVote Minnesota, engaged in “multiple and deliberate” violations of campaign law. The agency also slapped the campaign with the maximum allowable fine.  The administrative law judges handling the case also noted that the campaign was “unapologetic” about the violations.

The Ramsey County Elections Manager Joe Manskey wrote to the council that additional education, outside of the extensive outreach his office was engaged in, was not necessary.

“At this point, I do not see the need for any additional city funds…to properly conduct our public information and educational activities,” WROTE Manskey

Before the 5-2 decision, it was noted that those in favor of spending the additional funds were all running for office in the upcoming IRV election.

Council member Dave Thune noted he wasn’t a supporter of the new voting system, “I gotta tell you, at community meetings, it’s the Number 1 question – how you do it. … Even I need some training on it.”