Instant Runoff Voting Officially Repealed

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(Host) Instant runoff voting in Burlington has been officially repealed.

Voters in Burlington decided at their March Town Meeting to abandon I-R-V in the mayor’s race. 

Legislators approved changing Burlington’s city charter. And earlier this week, Governor Jim Douglas signed the bill into law.

Kurt Wright is a Republican House member from Burlington and a former candidate for mayor.

He helped lead the fight to repeal IRV. He says voters made the right decision:

(Wright) "They decided they wanted to take another look at it and decided that they did not like how IRV worked. And I think that they decided, and I agree, that it is a fatally flawed system. I mean from my perspective, I would say that there’s no perfect voting system. I think you could find flaws in every voting system. And in my view the flaws in this system are greater than the flaws in the previous system."

(Host) Burlington Representative Jason Lorber, a Democrat, opposed the repeal movement.  Lorber says the city will now revert to its previous system where a candidate can be elected with 40 percent of the vote.  If the winning candidate doesn’t receive 40 percent, a special run off election will be held:

(Lorber) "We’re going to see what happens. There is a concern that folks have that when you have more than two candidates on the ballot, what’s going to happen, are you going to have the spoiler effect? Are we going to have a candidate that’s supported by the majority of voters?"

(Host) Lorber says he’s hopeful that Burlington voters will approve a charter change next year that calls for a special run off election if no candidate receives 50 percent of the vote in the general election.

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