California Assembly Passes One Bill on Instant Runoff Voting

On May 14, the California Assembly unanimously passed AB 308. It provides that overseas voters who are voting in an election that requires a run-off if no one gets 50% of the vote in the first round, will be sent two ballots in the same envelope. The envelope would include a normal ballot, and a separate ballot for the same election using Instant Runoff. The overseas voter is then free to mark both ballots. In the event that the election requires a run-off, that voter’s IRV ballot is used, so that there is no need to mail that voter a separate ballot for the run-off.


California Assembly Passes One Bill on Instant Runoff Voting — No Comments

  1. In case anyone still thinks this bill addresses a problem that doesn’t exist, just a day before the vote in the Assembly, Senator Schumer of New York issued a report on a study of military voters stationed overseas in the 2008 election. It found that 25% did not have their votes counted due to mail delivery and election administration problems. This confirms independent studies of the 2004 and 2006 elections. One of these reported on all overseas voters, not just the half who are members of the military.

    The procedure isn’t, strictly speaking, IRV because the all the ballots (including the ranked ones) are tabulated as in a top two runoff. But I’m very excited about this bill anyway. No one can think it’s a good thing when people who want to vote and try to vote can’t get their ballots in on time. This is reflected in the fact that in Louisiana, Arkansas, South Carolina and Illinois related bills also passed by overwhelming margins.

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