On April 16, U.S. District Court Judge Richard Seeborg issued this 19-page order, denying a request that San Francisco be prohibited from using its version of Instant Runoff Voting in this year’s city elections. The case is Dudum v City and County of San Francisco, C10-504.
The plaintiffs had criticized San Francisco for letting voters choose only a first choice, a second choice, and a third choice. San Francisco limits voters to just three choices due to limitations imposed by technology. Plaintiffs had argued that limiting the voter to only three choices violates voting rights. Plaintiffs were represented by the Nielsen Merksamer law firm, the same law firm that represents the campaign to pass California’s Proposition 14, the “top-two” ballot measure on the ballot on June 8, 2010.
Judge Seeborg is an Obama appointee. He is the first federal judge appointed by President Obama to have issued an opinion in any lawsuit covered by this blog.