statistics The Riverdale Observer: The Election...When and If...and Now...Again and Again

The Riverdale Observer

The "RIVERDALE OBSERVER" is an individualy written, produced and distributed broadside newspaper dealing with one topic per issue as it relates to Riverdale Park, Prince Georges County, Maryland, United States of America, Earth, Milkyway Galaxy, Universe, and Beyond (the writer does not wish to be too limited in subject matter).

Location: Riverdale Park, Maryland, United States

Born and raised in Weems, Virginia attended VPI, BS General Science 1964, Work experience in Research and Quality Control Labs; WWTP Management, Operation, and Teaching; Member of various Boards, Organic Food and Farming, Tax Reform, Homeschool, and Soccer. Married, wife and I homeschool two teenage children.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

The Election...When and If...and Now...Again and Again

I started to write this article at the end of August when it looked like an election would be held in September; with five candidates, which would almost certainly have thrown us into the unnecessary expense of a run off election. The change in the town code made a couple years back got rid of plurality and achieved majority in the town elections, BUT AT THE COST AND EXPENSE OF AN UNNECESSARY RUN OFF ELECTION. It is possible to achieve majority in one election no matter the number of candidates. The Council should give serious consideration to changing the code so it can be done.

I have had direct experience within the Libertarian Party National Committee and the Maryland Libertarian Party Central Committee system of voting which is sort of a BORDA COUNT and APPROVAL VOTE hybrid. Libertarian Party (National and Maryland) votes all ways have as one of the candidates NOTA (None of the Above) who has won on a couple occasions, which left a position open till the next election (bylaw rules), but it could also be set up to require a new slate of candidates and immediate new election. One could skip the NOTA but Libertarians like to keep before them this person opposed to voting for the lesser of two evils, which of course is still evil.

In Riverdale Park a BORDA COUNT or APPROVAL VOTE system would give a Majority Candidate no matter the number of candidates in the election, with out having the expense, effort, and loss of Representation for a couple of months due to a run off election. My understanding is that a special election costs about Two to Three Thousand dollars. Personally I would rather see the money go toward Town Services.

While on the topic of saving money, these voting systems also eliminate the need of a Primary Election which on the county level cost from $1,000,000 to 1,500,000 each and on the State level probably in excess of $25,000,000 and that does not even look at the loss in the public economic sector.

I do hope our Council will consider using one of these better voting systems and perhaps some other reforms that will give the People a better say in how they are governed. To get a better understanding of the systems, follow the link, and read the whole article.

excerpt from Science News Nov 2, 2002; Vol. 162, No.18, p. 280

While the instant runoff, Borda count, and approval voting each has drawbacks, most voting theorists would be happy to replace plurality voting with any one of them. "All methods that allow voters to express their views fully rather than to single out one candidate convey a much more nuanced message to the political machine," says Hannu Nurmi, a political scientist at the University of Turku in Finland.

The fact that U.S. elections have always been plurality votes is no reason to resist change, Tabarrok says. "We chose our voting systems before voting theory existed," he says."I don't think any voting theorist would choose plurality rule today."


Anonymous Anonymous said...


10:51 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home