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Election 2013: Volume 8, Issue 1. It's Almost Time to Vote

November 3rd, 2013 (09:04 pm)

So it's Sunday night; the election's Tuesday.

Before you go vote, take a look at your ballot. For any precinct in Minnesota, you can visit http://pollfinder.sos.state.mn.us/ -- plug in your ZIP code and address, and you can find out where to go vote, and there will be a link to your sample ballot. I highly recommend checking this out, even if you've been following my posts, because there are races I didn't cover.

If you are still puzzled by Instant Runoff Voting, here is an excellent video that covers the basics: http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2009/05/11/video_irv (At dinner, I was trying to explain IRV to Kiera and she was getting increasingly baffled. So I pulled up this video and had her watch it and she went from "I do not understand this at all, WHY is this a good idea?" to "THIS IS AWESOME. THIS IS THE BEST WAY EVER TO VOTE.")

Even if you understand how IRV works in the mayoral race, you may still want to watch this second video, which explains how IRV works in races like Park Board At-Large, where more than one person wins. http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2009/10/22/how-instant-run-off-voting-works (stargoatpdx, you might want to bookmark that video for future use when explaining this method to people. The visuals help a lot.)

An important note on this is that in the Park Board At-Large race, order matters. There are three open seats, and you can vote for three candidates. But it's actually important to put your favorite candidate first, your second-favorite second, and your third-favorite third. (Or, you might list your long-shot candidate first because s/he is most likely to need the help.) But ORDER COUNTS. Previously in this race, there'd be three open seats and you got to pick three candidates and they each got one vote. Now, you get fractions. Watch the video -- it's complicated. The short version is just, order counts.

It also counts in the Board of Estimate and Taxation race, but I think it's less likely to matter there.

Finally, I liked this post from R.T. Rybak about looking to see who's funded by whom, before casting your vote: http://rtrybak.tumblr.com/day/2013/11/01


Posted by: servant_of_clio (servant_of_clio)
Posted at: November 4th, 2013 04:04 am (UTC)

I don't know if Curtis would exactly agree it's the best way ever to vote, but he knows a lot more about the math of voting than I do. :)

Posted by: Naomi (naomikritzer)
Posted at: November 4th, 2013 04:09 am (UTC)

I am not a huge fan of IRV and did not sign the petitions asking for it, but I can agree to disagree with Kiera on this. (Her instant conversion as soon as she grasped how it worked was pretty charming.)

At this point, I'm really looking forward to seeing how it all plays out.

Posted by: billkahn (billkahn)
Posted at: November 4th, 2013 04:11 am (UTC)
Bill Kahn

Mayor Rybak's Tumblr post sure seems like a Hodges endorsement.

Posted by: stargoatpdx (stargoatpdx)
Posted at: November 4th, 2013 05:18 am (UTC)

Thanks for the links. I strongly agree that visuals help a lot.

I’ve seen a lot of good videos, slide shows, and so on regarding single-seat IRV, but the sticky note video for multi-seat RCV is the only decent video I can recall ever having seen therefor. I was actually looking for it a few months ago but couldn’t find it.

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