Talk:Instant-runoff voting in the United States

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Cambridge Mass[edit]

Cambridge has elected its nine member city council and six member school committee by STV since 1941, and I'm rather surprised it's not mentioned here.

History and description of the election process: http://www.cambridgema.gov/election/Proportional_Representation.cfm

The 2003 election results, which took 13 rounds to get 9 winners is here: http://www.cambridgema.gov/special/2003_election/Council%20Round.htm

1999 and 2001 results are here: http://www.votingsolutions.com/camb2001/index.htm

John L (talk) 06:08, 12 February 2008 (UTC)

REMOVED TEMPORARILY:

Cambridge, Massachusetts has elected its city council and school committee by IRV since 1941. [1]
Does Cambridge use IRV for single-seat elections, or only STV for multiseat elections? I lean to keeping them separated. Tom Ruen (talk) 07:00, 12 February 2008 (UTC)
John, Have you seen this page History_and_use_of_the_Single_Transferable_Vote#United_States? Tom Ruen (talk) 17:17, 12 February 2008 (UTC)

More on San Francisco RCV elections: consistent majority failure.[edit]

I've gone over the election results available for San Francisco Ranked Choice Voting elections. They are remarkably consistent. Out of 20 RCV elections that have been held since the referendum establishing it passed, the following statistics obtain:

4 elections were uncontested. 9 elections were won with a majority in the first round. 7 elections went into RCV vote transfer. For every one of the 7 elections using RCV, the candidate with a plurality in the first round went on to win the election after transfers were complete. In every one of these elections, the winner did not obtain a majority of ballots cast. In every one of these elections, the runner-up in the first round remained the runner-up in the last round.

One election had 22 candidates; the winner had 33.65% of the vote 37.63% of ballots containing a vote for an eligible candidate.

Below are more detailed results. What I notice is that the relative position of the winner and the runner-up did not much change with vote transfers.

There was an error found in these figures; the total vote reported includes ballots not containing any vote for the office. Commonly, a small percentage of ballots will be like that. Following normal rules, these are not considered "valid votes cast for the office" and would not represent part of the basis for a majority. I'm not sure what the San Francisco rules were, but, pending determining that, I'm assuming that the Robert's Rules standard is being followed. Note that these elections allow write-ins (as did the prior runoff elections), so a protest voter may simply write in the name of any eligible candidate. Voters may even write in their own name, usually, which is why attempts to keep ballots secret even if the voter wants to reveal whose ballot it is are in conflict with write-in rules, which are actually fundamental, a safeguard against serious political manipulation of elections, though this requires an aware electorate. Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty....
Well, I started to look at it, and it just goes to show. It appears that San Francisco disallows most write-in votes for these RCV offices. Not good. There is one election with a "qualified write-in," so I was technically correct in what I wrote above, but I really wonder how many voters don't know that rule? And so effectively invalidated their ballot by writing in a sincere vote? The ballot images aren't available for these elections, at least in one archive. This will make the results for IRV appear a little more favorable in terms of approaching a majority. And this means I need to look at that IRV ordinance in detail. I'm pretty sure San Francisco used to report all the write-ins. --Abd (talk) 18:52, 24 January 2008 (UTC) (Later this day added the text of the write-in provision as described in voter instructions in 2002:)
QUALIFIED WRITE-IN CANDIDATES (RIGHTS OF VOTERS) — A Qualified Write-in Candidate
is a person who has turned in the required papers and signatures to the Department
of Elections. Although the name of this person will not appear on the ballot, voters
can vote for this person by writing the name of the person in the space on the
ballot provided for write-in votes. The Department of Elections counts write-in
votes only for qualified write-in candidates. 
Holy Bovine refuse! As to what is below, looks like somebody (actually a whole community of people) screwed up big-time! Have any lawsuits been filed? Here is the text from the voter information pamphlet[2] explaining what was being voted on in March 2002 when IRV was implemented:

THE WAY IT IS NOW: When the offices of the Mayor, City Attorney, District Attorney, Public Defender, Sheriff, Assessor-Recorder, Treasurer, and Board of Supervisors are up for election, voters may select only one candidate for each of these offices. If no candidate receives more than 50% of the votes cast for the office, the two candidates who receive the highest number of votes compete in a run-off election at a later date.

THE PROPOSAL: Proposition A is a Charter amendment that would require the City to use an instant run-off voting method that would eliminate separate run-off elections. A winner would still have to receive more than 50% of the vote.

And then the sequential elimination process is explained. Sound familiar? This is deja vu all over again; this is the Robert's Rules issue. The explanation:

[...] This process of transferring votes to the voter’s next-choice candidate and eliminating candidates with the fewest votes would be repeated until one candidate received more than 50% of the votes.

The meaning of "votes" is not explicit in the text. From the introduction, however, a reasonable voter would, made aware of the issue, assume that this was the same as "first preference votes" mentioned explicitly in the beginning of the explanation. No statement is made in the ballot summary that the basis for majority is reduced. However, a reasonable voter might also notice that there is no mention of what happens if there is no majority; the statement by the committee, though, that "A winner would still have to receive more than 50% of the vote" would imply that the election could fail. The IRV interpretation would be that it *cannot* fail. In fact, just continue the elimination process one step further, and you can require that the winner get 100% of the vote! Imagine that the eliminations go one more step -- exact same process -- and then it was claimed, "The winner would still have to be elected with 100% of the vote."
Even if the ordinance itself is explicit [as it turns out it is, see below], there would then have been an incorrect explanation by the Ballot Simplification Committee, and this *could* be a basis for a challenge to an election. As far as I know, no such challenge has been filed, and the deadlines would have expired. But, come the next election, with the cat out of the bag.....
The ballot arguments did not address the majority issue at all. San Francisco was the first successes for the modern preferential voting movement in the United States, and the opposition was totally caught flat-footed, they did not understand the issues, they made very weak arguments. ("IRV will give some voters three votes instead of one." Sound familiar? That's the argument in Brown v. Smallwood." Corrupt argument, in fact, though there is *some* basis for it. IRV, by discarding and totally disregarding votes for candidates eliminated in the process, is, in fact, making some votes count for more than others, particularly in the presence of actual majority failure. But this is a more sophisticated argument than the opponents of the measure were aware of, apparently. Another argument was, "no city uses this." Which was true at the time, and is still *almost* true. Only Burlington and Cary have actually made use of IRV in an election where it made any difference at all. Two elections total as this is written.)
What's in the ordinance itself?

SEC. 13.102. INSTANT RUNOFF ELECTIONS.

(a) For the purposes of this section:

(1) a candidate shall be deemed “continuing” if the candidate has not been eliminated.

(2) a ballot shall be deemed “continuing” if it is not exhausted; and

(3) a ballot shall be deemed “exhausted,” and not counted in further stages of the tabulation, if all of the choices have been eliminated or there are no more choices indicated on the ballot. If a ranked-choice ballot gives equal rank to two or more candidates, the ballot shall be declared exhausted when such multiple rankings are reached. If a voter casts a ranked-choice ballot but skips a rank, the voter’s vote shall be transferred to that voter’s next ranked choice.

(b) The Mayor, Sheriff, District Attorney, City Attorney, Treasurer, Assessor-Recorder, Public Defender, and members of the Board of Supervisors shall be elected using a ranked-choice, or “instant runoff,” ballot. The ballot shall allow voters to rank a number of choices in order of preference equal to the total number of candidates for each office; provided, however, if the voting system, vote tabulation system, or similar or related equipment used by the City and County cannot feasibly accommodate choices equal to the total number of candidates running for each office, then the Director of Elections may limit the number of choices a voter may rank to no fewer than three,. The ballot shall in no way interfere with a voter’s ability to cast a vote for a write-in candidate.

(c) If a candidate receives a majority of the first choices, that candidate shall be declared elected. If no candidate receives a majority, the candidate who received the fewest first choices shall be eliminated and each vote cast for that candidate shall be transferred to the next-ranked candidate on that voter’s ballot. If, after this transfer of votes, any candidate has a majority of the votes from the continuing ballots, that candidate shall be declared elected.

(d) If no candidate receives a majority of votes from the continuing ballots after a candidate has been eliminated and his or her votes have been transferred to the next-ranked candidate, the continuing candidate with the fewest votes from the continuing ballots shall be eliminated. All votes cast for that candidate shall be transferred to the next-ranked continuing candidate on each voter’s ballot. This process of eliminating candidates and transferring their votes to the next-ranked continuing candidates shall be repeated until a candidate receives a majority of the votes from the continuing ballots.

Classic bait and switch. There is direct conflict between the Ballot summary and the Pro arguments in the ballot, and the actual ordinance. Some of this belongs in the article. Anyone care to put it in? Now, back to our regularly scheduled programming (correcting the figures below). --Abd (talk) 20:04, 24 January 2008 (UTC)
Pursuant to a comment from User:Tbouricius, I am including information below on the number of candidates remaining when counting stopped: he pointed out that the 22-candidate election was stopped when the winner had a majority; not all candidates had been eliminated at that point, so the winner might have obtained additional votes. I will also, in the future, add Bucklin results to this analysis, because Bucklin uses the same vote data as is available from San Francisco RCV. (The spreadsheets give first place votes, second place votes, and third place votes. That's all Bucklin needs.
(This is a study of how IRV is performing, simply compiling and reporting data from the San Francisco public records. Other users are invited to correct errors here or to add information considered important that I have not reported. --Abd (talk) 05:29, 27 January 2008 (UTC)

The data was taken from the San Francisco Department of Elections Archive

San Francisco election for Board of Supervisor, November 2, 2004.

District 1: 7 candidates.
First round plurality: Jake McGoldrick, 11815/28787 votes
     plus 1934 ballots with no vote for an eligible candidate.
  runner up: Lillian Sing, 8989
After transfers: Jake McGoldrick, 14011/28787 votes, 48.67%.
  runner up: Lillian Sing, 11929
District 2: 5 candidates, won with 61.25% first round.
District 3: 4 candidates, won with 62.55% first round.
District 5: 22 candidates.
First round plurality: Ross Mirkarimi, 9947/35109
     plus 4146 ballots with no vote for an eligible candidate.
  runner up: Robert Haaland, 5124.
After transfers: Ross Mirkarimi, 13211/35109 = 37.63%
  runner up: Robert Haaland, 7272.
Note: this election terminated with three candidates, Mirkarimi having reached 50.596% of the unexhausted vote. Besides Robert Haaland, Lisa Feldstein had 5628 votes. Some of these votes would have probably gone to Mirkarimi, thus raising his vote percentage. It is highly unlikely, unless there were special conditions, that this would have given Mirkarimi a majority; in order to do so, Markarimi would have had to have obtained 77% of the Feldstein voter second and third choices.
District 7: 13 candidates.
First round plurality: Sean R. Elsbernd, 10505/31639
     plus 3266 ballots with no vote for an eligible candidate.
  runner up: Christine Linnenbach, 6784
After transfers: Sean R. Elsbernd, 13834/31639 = 43.72%%.
  runner up: Christine Linnenbach, 10491.
District 9: 6 candidates, won with 50.73% first round.
District 11: 8 candidates
First round plurality: Gerardo Sandoval, 7477/23176
     plus 1726 ballots with no vote for an eligible candidate.
  runner up: Myrna Viray Lim, 4280
After transfers: Gerardo Sandoval, 10769/23176, 46.47%
  runner up: Myrna Viray Lim, 7628 

November 8, 2005

Assessor-Recorder: 4 candidates
First round plurality: Phil Ting, 94062/199224
     plus 26146 ballots with no vote for an eligible candidate.
  runner up: Gerardo Sandoval, 71850
After transfers: Phil Ting, 110053/199224, 55.24% MAJORITY
  runner up: Gerardo Sandoval, 79261
Treasurer: 4 candidates, won with 61.36% first round.
City Attorney: uncontested.

San Francisco election for Board of Supervisor, November 7, 2006.

District 2: 2 candidates, 80.13% first round.
District 4: 6 candidates.
First round plurality: Ed Jew, 5184/19814 votes.
     plus 2171 ballots with no vote for an eligible candidate.
  runner-up: Ron Dudum, 5134 votes.
After transfers: Ed Jew, 8388/19814 votes, 42.33%.
  runner-up: Ron Dudum, 5072 votes.
District 6: 8 candidates.
First round plurality: Chris Daly, 8746/17941 votes.
     plus 1974 ballots with no vote for an eligible candidate.
  runner-up: Rob Black, 7115 votes.
After transfers: Chris Daly, 8968/17941 votes, 49.99%.
  runner-up: Rob Black, 7303 votes.
The counting terminated with four candidates, Chris Daly having obtained a majority of unexhausted votes. It is a practical certainty that he would have obtained a majority from the remaining candidates. Davy Jones and Matt Drake, with 1375 votes between them, would have been eliminated. To gain a majority, Daly needed an additional three votes.
District 8: 3 candidates, 66.24% first round.
District 10: 7 candidates, 56.17% first round.
Assessor/Recorder: uncontested.
Public Defender: uncontested.

November 6, 2007. No RCV analysis necessary for any election.

Mayor: 12 candidates. Majority winner first round (73.66%)
City Attorney: uncontested.
Sheriff: 2 candidates, majority winner first round (73.69%)
The data above was revised after what is below was written. Note added by --Abd (talk) 05:00, 25 January 2008 (UTC)

It's true that runoff elections are being avoided in San Francisco, but the basic cause of the prior massive need for runoffs was nonpartisan elections with top-two runoff, thus encouraging large numbers of candidates. If the elections had all been plurality, the winners would have remained the same, which is remarkable, I did not expect to see this to be the case so strongly, for IRV, like top-two runoff, will encourage more candidates to run and will cause the first round vote to be split far more than would happen with actual plurality elections. If preference voting is going to be used, it would seem that limiting it to three ranks when there are hordes of candidates creates a problem; on the other hand, it's not clear how many voters would use additional ranks. IRV in Australia is being used for partisan elections. One of the selling points of RCV was to find a majority without holding runoffs; that is not happening, *at all*. It could be claimed that actual runoffs create a false majority just as much as do RCV elections (these elections are reported with majority victories based on exclusion of exhausted ballots); however, with actual runoffs the voters have a chance to make a choice between the top two; whereas with these elections many voters were excluded from making that choice, and we don't know how many of them were excluded because they did not use all the ranks (their fault?) or were excluded because they *did* use the ranks, but all three were used up.

One thing I've learned from this analysis is a bit of an appreciation of why Plurality voting has lasted so long in spite of its serious theoretical shortcomings that sometimes actually bite. It usually works.

Calling RCV "IRV," as well, is problematic. Limiting the ranks causes loss of voting power. It's conceivable that, if full ranking had been allowed, one or more of the results would have changed. In that 22-candidate election, almost half the ballots were exhausted. The article currently uses the 2000 election situation to show how many runoffs were previously needed; that may have been an unusual year. In this series of 20 elections, only seven would have needed runoffs. If the law required a majority (as in the Vermont governor race, from the Vermont constitution), RCV would not have saved even one runoff (or other process as in Vermont, where the legislature votes by secret ballot if there is majority failure in the public election) . --Abd (talk) 05:02, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

When the data was corrected, there was one election where RCV did reach a majority. All others that needed RCV would have gone to runoff if the process had been as described in the voter information pamphlet summary. --Abd (talk) 05:00, 25 January 2008 (UTC)
What improvements to the article are being contemplated in the discussion of this section? MilesAgain (talk) 15:36, 16 January 2008 (UTC)
Wow! Asking the same question *three* times in succession on the same Talk page! If someone wants to see my answer, look at Special:Contributions/Abd, the last two edits before this one. So I guess I'll ask a question myself. MilesAgain, what's your user name?
In this case, there has already been editing of the article from the information collected here. The article, of course, summarizes the information concisely, but to make it easy for other editors to check it, the detailed compilation was done here. I've now concluded that I will write an article for publication based on what I'm finding, unless someone comes up with prior publication of similar facts. In that article, of course, I'd come to conclusions, since I think they are stunningly obvious, but I can't put those conclusions in the article at this point -- unless the work has been done before. --Abd (talk) 19:27, 16 January 2008 (UTC)

This talk contents moved from Talk:Instant-runoff voting for continued discussion as needed in this article. Tom Ruen (talk) 07:06, 28 January 2008 (UTC)

United States results details[edit]

This text added by Abd to Instant runoff voting United States section was moved to this talk page, since these contents should be moved to this subarticle:

In every election, the winner was the candidate with a plurality in the first round, and the ultimate runner-up was the runner-up in the first round. As shown below, instant runoff provisions were used in nine elections, and in all but two of these, no majority of qualified votes was found for the winner.

San Francisco: 20 elections total, 4 uncontested, 9 won by a majority in the first round, leaving 7 that used runoff provisions. In one of the 7 "runoff" elections, the winner ultimately obtained a clear majority of qualified votes (i.e., ballots containing a vote for any qualified candidate). In two of them, the counting was stopped when a candidate had a majority of votes from unexhausted ballots, with more than two candidates left; at this point the winners' totals were 49.99% and 37.63% of all qualified votes. Those candidates would doubtless have obtained additional votes if counting had continued, with the first certainly reaching a majority, and the other not. In the other 5 elections, which continued counting until there were only two candidates left, the winner obtained votes from between 43.72% and 48.67% of those casting qualified votes.[1]

Burlington: 1 election, runoff used, winner with 48.7% of the qualified vote.[2]

Takoma Park: 8 elections: 6 uncontested, 2 won with a majority of votes in the first round.[3][4]

Cary: 4 elections, 3 won with a majority in the first round, and 1 "runoff" used to obtain 46.4% of the vote for the winner.[5]

This level of detail is senseless to me. Why is this needed here?! I just moved content to a subarticle! Tom Ruen (talk) 04:48, 28 January 2008 (UTC)

Well, do read what I wrote above. Why is this needed here? Has Tom been paying any attention? It's been explained quite a few times over the last few weeks! Moving content needed for balance to subarticles is POV forking, not allowed. However, the detail doesn't have to stay if the *summary* can stay, which is just something like three sentences. What Ruen did was to move *part* of the detail to the subarticle, the part that might be used to criticize IRV (though it is not itself critical, it's just a report), leaving what makes it look like IRV is fantastically successful. So far, it is probably producing exactly the same results as Plurality, at higher expense. And there is a lurking suspicion that it is producing worse results than top-two runoff, though it *might* be cheaper. And it might not.
I'd expect more reversals in the runoffs than are occurring, based on a preliminary study of runoff elections, part of which *was reported here (the SF 2000 results). Again, that's a complex question, and moot at the moment. I can put the raw data in the article, but not a conclusion like "IRV is frustrating the point of requiring majorities." Not yet.
One problem that Tom should be aware of. He did not simply move content to the new article. He *deleted* content that was sourced (that is, he took it out of this article and did not put it in the new one). Perhaps that was inadvertent. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Abd (talkcontribs) 05:03, 28 January 2008 (UTC)

OKAY, section reduced to a single paragraph. There's absolutely no defense in this article for that level of details whatever POV you claim. SURE, I'm interested in summaries of results, but not here. My personal interest is to find a IRV election where a bottom-up elimination changes the candidates from a top-two elimination, but I'm not so arrogant to imagine this deserves special treatment in the main article. Put it all in the subarticle and I'm happy. Tom Ruen (talk) 05:42, 28 January 2008 (UTC)

P.S. I much appreciate you explicitly stating your POV agenda working here: To confirm your conclusion the use of IRV in political election as no better than plurality at a higher cost (and open the door for approval which gives voter all the power above plurality they'll ever want or need with no cost.) Is that a good summary? Tom Ruen (talk) 05:53, 28 January 2008 (UTC)

Talk contents moved from Talk:Instant-runoff voting for insertion or discussion in this article. Tom Ruen (talk) 07:02, 28 January 2008 (UTC)

No, I'm not seeking to confirm a predetermined conclusion. That, actually, is behavior I detest. However, the data is indicating what Ruen claimed I was trying to confirm; I have indeed formed a tentative conclusion that this is how it looks from the information, that this is interesting -- I was quite surprised to discover this, I did not expect it at all, and I do think it should be more generally noticed. I was simply studying the election; I'd found that when I did this kind of thing, stuff came up. I have been looking for the same thing as Ruen claims he is interested in. And I haven't found it here. There were such changes, fairly frequently, in the top-two runoffs I looked at.
There is more information from Australia, sourced recently in the IRV page Talk. Elections were analyzed to see how often the plurality winner in the first round flipped in the result; these were political elections with fewer candidates, and there is some reasonable frequency of it in Australia. Of course, Ballots are fully ranked in Australian, they have overseers with whips. (Seriously, they merely discard ballots not fully ranked. Which leads voters to donkey vote, just go down the list and number it in sequence, which is, of course, why Robson rotation is *really* important there! The report studies the effect of donkey voting, it's significant.)
I'm nonplussed by Ruen's thinking that a summary of how IRV is doing in real elections, in a place where it is actively being promoted, is irrelevant to the main article. Sure, the detail can be shoved off and summary style used to present a brief synopsis. I'm talking facts, not conclusions (beyond taking one and one and concluding that the sum of them is two, or looking at a determined and agreed-upon list and noting what is present in it and what is absent from it; in this case, the list of IRV public elections that have been held in the U.S. since reform started with San Francisco after the 2002 proposition passed. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Abd (talkcontribs) 05:36, 1 February 2008 (UTC)

Branches that need merging[edit]

There's two articles/section with redundant information which needs merging somehow. Tom Ruen (talk) 07:16, 28 January 2008 (UTC)

History_and_use_of_instant-runoff_voting#United_States
History and use of instant-runoff voting in the United States

Okay, merged the first HERE, redirected the second. Tom Ruen (talk) 07:48, 28 January 2008 (UTC)

Independence Party poll 2004[edit]

I'm in process of summarizing the IP poll results at: IRV_implementations_in_United_States#Political_party_usage

Quite interesting. They allowed a none of the above vote if voters specified this in their last ranked choice. A NOTA choice sums all such votes but can't be eliminated. So there's two categories of final votes - NOTA and Exhausted. The first round had 32 NOTA votes and last round 52. Plus they gave percentages of total ballots in each round. They also eliminated down to a single candidate with 74% with 15% NOTA, and remainder 11% exhausted. ... Tom Ruen (talk) 01:13, 29 January 2008 (UTC)

Done... Hopefully a useful summary, reduced enough to be readable and useful. Tom Ruen (talk) 02:28, 29 January 2008 (UTC)

San Fran results[edit]

... MOVED TEST TABLE TO ARTICLE, cleared here for compactness.

Above I converted the biggest SanFran 2004 election results into a Wikitable below, 19 rounds of counting.

A couple tricky issues:

  1. Their summary has a row called "Exhausted ballots" containing both ballots who have (1) No ranks at all and (2) All ranked choices eliminated. I subtracted the exhausted ballots from the first round since these represent ballots where voters had NO preference at all, not even a write-in! It is reasonable to judge such voters as nonvoters (an abstention intepretation - "don't know or don't care").
  2. Their summary had a row called "Eligible ballots" which excluded all exhausted ballots. This count allows the process to stop when a single candidate has more than a majority of this count. In the final round 25.6% of the nonempty ballots were exhausted, and the process stopped with one candidate (of 3) with 50.6% of the eligible ballots but only 37.6% of the nonempty ballots. IF the process had continued to the final-two candidates, eliminating the third candidate with 16%, the winner would have MORE than 37.6% of the nonempty ballot percentage, possibly more than 50% of the nonempty ballots BUT the elimination was never done (because it wouldn't affect the winner), and so we'll never know.

So anyway, the above table is an attempt to have a consistent table compared to other result tables I added from other cities. So any reported percent vote is a little confusing, with at least 3 different divisors possible.

The truth I see is that use of the word majority is an ambiguous and is better avoided as any sort of promise. IRV can at best eliminate until 2 candidates remain and pick a single winner. I think it is important to report votes that supported at least one candidate but neither of the final two, BUT without an explicit None of the above and/or Abstain options on the ballot to specify intent of the truncated ballot, don't know voter intent, and all we do know is they can't affect the winner.

Tom Ruen (talk) 02:06, 1 February 2008 (UTC)

We know that Mirkarimi did not attain a majority, because we have the full ballot summary data for each rank. As we know, he had at least 37.6% of the votes when they stopped counting. If we count every vote where he was ranked at all, he was ranked on 47.2% of the ballots. This, then, is an absolute maximum, it would require that none of his votes were votes from Haaland voters ranking him below Haaland. When counting stopped, there were three candidates remaining. He would have gotten lower rank votes from one of those candidates, Feldstein, who had a total of 5628 votes at that point. Now, Feldstein had votes in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd ranks of 3242, 3840, and 5392 respectively. None of the third rank votes would be accessible to Mirkarimi, because those ballots would be exhausted when Feldstein is eliminated, leaving at most 7082 votes; but, then, many of these votes would have Haaland in next rank, or another candidate. Based on my impression from what eliminations have looked like, given that these are nonpartisan elections, and absent some special affinity with the Feldstein voters, Mirkarimi could have gotten roughly the same proportion of votes from Feldstein transfers, out of the 5628 available, as the standing percentage; i.e., 37.6%, which comes out to 2116 votes. Thus a reasonable estimate of the Markarimi vote, had counting continued, would be 43.7%.
We must, unfortunately, disregard write-in votes, because San Francisco essentially disqualifies simple write-ins; they don't count them, they are treated as blanks, with one exception: if the write-in has fulfulled certain requirements; in all the SF elections I've looked at, there was only one of these. That candidate is counted just like any other. Now, what I wonder is how many San Franciscans know this. There is a space on the ballot for write-ins. If it explicitly notes that a write in must be qualified -- and if a list of qualified write-ins is available at the polling place, maybe it's okay in terms of informing the voter. Most elections I've seen allow any person's name to be written in; local rules in one place where I lived required that the address be put in in addition to the name, but election law generally requires simply that the voter intention be clear. But I really don't know how widespread the SF restriction might be.
Any write-ins have already been eliminated and, if there are additional ranks expressed, they are advanced and used, and reported in the first column. You can see a discrepancy between the 3242 total first rank votes for Feldstein as I mention above, total first-rank votes, and the 3257 votes shown in the first column of the table. I infer from this that 15 votes Feldstein votes shown in the first column were second (or maybe third) rank votes due to voter error in marking the first rank, or a first rank blank, or a first rank invalid write-in. It is a bit irritating that the San Francisco data is not explained in detail, one pretty much has to infer a lot. It gets worse, 2007 is a bit of a nightmare. Instead of the Excel spreadsheet, there is something that looks like ballot images (a text file that is coded in numbers, i.e., a certain number means a certain vote) and I haven't been able to make heads nor tails of it. It does not seem big enough to be the whole election image, so it may be some kind of summary data. Or not.
Ruen went on to say something that I'll repeat here so I can answer in detail:
The truth I see is that use of the word majority is an ambiguous and is better avoided as any sort of promise. IRV can at best eliminate until 2 candidates remain and pick a single winner. I think it is important to report votes that supported at least one candidate but neither of the final two, BUT without an explicit None of the above and/or Abstain options on the ballot to specify intent of the truncated ballot, don't know voter intent, and all we do know is they can't affect the winner.
The Robert's Rules standard is absolute majority, considering all ballots with a vote for an eligible candidate, and good democratic practice would allow write-ins. A write-in is nature's way of saying None of the above, but with an answer to the question, "Well, then, who?" These systems were originally designed for electorates who were a bit feistier than what we see today. If there were, for example, a top-two runoff, and a Condorcet winner was eliminated, they might very well write in the name of that candidate, and all that would have to happen for the candidate to win would be for those who actually preferred him or her to do this. In the article in Runoff voting -- which, by the way, needs some attention, it is replete with some of the errors we have already corrected in Instant-runoff voting -- it is noted that some runoff systems allow more than two candidates in the runoff, but they do accept plurality winners. I have not actually checked, but my guess is that if no candidate gets a majority in a top-two runoff in the U.S., because of write-in votes (which *were* allowed in San Francisco, i.e., qualified write-ins, I think), the winner is the one with a plurality. Basically, they are saying, enough already, let's get on with the business of government.
No method, with such a large field, can guarantee a majority unless it requires full ranking, which is, in my view, highly undemocratic. I agree with Tom that we should know if winners are supported by a majority; usually we do. (We can tell with all but one of the San Francisco elections; I think Mirkarimi was the only one where counting was stopped before eliminating all but the top two. With batch elimination we could tell. Frankly, though, I have a strong opinion that full ballot data should be available. Problem in San Francisco: their election machines were decertified.)
However, having acknowledged that, Bucklin would probably do better at finding a majority, because it counts all the votes. IRV doesn't. I did Bucklin analysis on all the San Francisco results in 2004, and it did find more majorities, and these are reasonable to consider as some kind of support for those candidates. I wish I'd remembered to save the page!
--Abd (talk) 04:55, 1 February 2008 (UTC)
I feel compelled to add that 22 candidate elections seems to ME to offer a good reason to have a primary election process that can reduce the set of candidates so voters have a better chance to evaluate all the candidates. Again we don't know the cause of voter truncation, if preferences were left unexpressed out of ignorance or laziness or intent, OR if a true top-two runoff would have picked a different winner. And we don't know how much voter turn out would have been lower in a runoff round where the winner might have had even less votes than here. Tom Ruen (talk) 02:14, 1 February 2008 (UTC)
This is, of course, why the first election is called a "primary." They simply decide to save money by not holding the final election if the primary discovers a majority. As to the causes of voter truncation, of course, exhausted ballots are practically inevitable unless voters vote strategically, when you only have three ranks and scads of candidates. When looking at elections like those in San Francisco, nonpartisan elections, one starts to understand why a party system is important. When one arises, candidates must *usually* get the support of a party to have a reasonable chance of winning. This drastically narrows the field. (There are exceptions, of course, consider Lieberman. But he was an incumbent!). As to turnout, Tom is making a common assumption. MilesAgain made the same one, chastising me for suggesting that turnout might not be lower in a runoff. Of course, I was basing this on actual election data from Cary, NC, which ran runoff elections prior to the IRV experiment. They hold the primary in October, and then a runoff, if necessary, in November, as part of the general election. That was proposed in San Francisco by opponents of the IRV proposition.
There is a standard definition for majority. IRV isn't a method that requires a majority (no deterministic method can require a majority except by coercing voters). Top-two runoff *does* require a majority. The argument about vote count in the runoff is spurious. Sure, vote count could be lower, *but a different question is being asked*.
We don't have a choice other than to treat all those uncounted ballots as abstentions, because we don't have raw ballot data. San Francisco actually doesn't allow true write-ins, except for properly registered "write-in candidates." I've only seen one of those in all the SF elections I looked at, though I might have missed some (if they are eligible, they are counted just like all other candidates.) The eligible "write-ins" have done what is necessary to qualify for the ballot, I think, but not in time to be printed (or maybe there is some looser qualification). Technically, with the exception of a qualified write-in, any vote where the voter wrote in a name is as if it was left blank. They don't count them, they are reported as drop-outs, with no discrimination. If a voter wrote in a nonqualified name (or left first preference blank), but then marked an eligible candidate for 2nd or 3rd rank, or both, this would be a ballot containing an eligible vote. I think these votes are treated as if the ranks had been advanced, i.e., they are included in that first column total. What we don't know is how many ballot exhaustions were caused by such sincere voting.
--Abd (talk) 04:56, 1 February 2008 (UTC)
Minneapolis passed IRV to replace a September nonpartisan top-two primary with IRV in the general election. I believe they should have kept the primary, even if ranked ballots, set a threshold like 15%, and perform IRV until all remaining candidates pass. Then repeat for the general election (with at most 6 candidates or whatever). That would help reduce choices to avoid 22 candidate general elections, but true-blue reformers want to maximize choice in the general election (as well as pretending to save money by eliminating the primary). Tom Ruen (talk) 05:05, 1 February 2008 (UTC)
Well, there would be several ways to go. For example, user IRV in the primary, held in November, then, if there is no majority, hold a runoff in December. This is quite cost-effective, as long as you don't end up with scads of candidates. With fewer candidates, IRV will find majorities more often. The effectiveness at identifying a majority can be improved by using Bucklin, which would be ironic, of course. Want cheap? Approval. Another approach would be to use a Condorcet method. If you are going to collect ranked information, why not *use* it? So ... as Roberts' Rules notes, there are many forms of preferential voting, and many of them don't have the center squeeze problem of IRV. (Note that *usually* IRV will, in fact, pick a Condorcet winner, but so will Approval and Bucklin.) The fact is that Plurality usually works, too, there is a reason why it wasn't tossed long ago. It works, that is, in a party system -- and tends to create and maintain two-party systems; the winnowing down of candidates takes place within the parties. And, yes, it can break down, and we can get serious political oscillation, as small shifts in the electorate shift the result from the center of one party to the center of another, which can be quite a gap.
--Abd (talk) 05:23, 1 February 2008 (UTC)
Well, as least you remind me why Wikipedia:What_Wikipedia_is_not#FORUM is policy. Anyway, I'll copy the table to the article, with an explanation. Tom Ruen (talk) 20:02, 1 February 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for putting the table in the article, Tom, that is useful. If you don't, I will add to it a calculation of the maximum vote that the winner could have obtained, it is straightforward from the data San Francisco provides for the election and it shows that, no matter how we slice it, the winner did not gain a majority (which is very, very difficult with that many candidates unless most of them are fluff). You add a fact going beyond what I had noticed: that social order remained stable among the top five through all the rounds. This result wasn't expected by me, and I know of no anticipation of it in the literature. What I *did* notice was that in *every* election, the top two remained the same through all rounds. This is stronger, as a discovery, than noticing that the winner always had a plurality in the first round. It suggests that major reversal would be unusual, and thus it may explain why Plurality has held as a method for so long, in spite of obvious defects: it usually works. Even when it doesn't work, the margins have typically been small. (This, of course, is Plurality in a two-party system, they go together, and so apparently does IRV.) In Australia, there are election reversals in the instant runoffs, and I have not looked at that in detail. But those are partisan elections, with relatively few candidates, and thus may have clear explanations (and these explanations, I think, have been published). (Minor reversal could easily occur where elections are close. But real runoffs create opportunities for a lesser-known candidate to make a case to the voters, hence it looks like they reverse about one time out of three. Don't you think that interesting?
As to WP:NOTAFORUM, every piece of writing here, of mine, is done for the purpose of improving the articles. But I won't explain why they seem, to some, to stray, beyond noting two things: disclosing POV is important as background, and side-comment can be part of the social glue that builds communities. I've been conferencing on-line for over twenty years, and this kind of problem comes up frequently, as you might imagine. Once, I was reprimanded on a mailing list -- Mr. Richie knows about the incident, because he has mentioned it, apparently thinking it some kind of indictment -- through a post to the list complaining that I was wandering off topic. Other writers chimed in and said that they saw the relevance. No, they were not sock puppets! The moderator apologized, but, I'm sure, was grumbling about it. Next time he thought I was off topic, he didn't complain on the list, he put me -- without notice -- on moderation and promptly lost a whole series of posts (not accepted or rejected, just deleted); then, when he realized that putting me on moderation meant he had to read it all, and again without notice, he banned me from the list. To put it briefly, some people don't understand, and a subset of those assume that what they don't understand is improper. Enough. --Abd (talk) 20:52, 1 February 2008 (UTC)
On maximum vote that the winner could have obtained - Even if SanFran has this data, I don't see what use it is to present this. OH, wait, you want to pretend this as evidence we should support Approval or Bucklin instead...
On no reversals I agree staggeringly bland election results, plurality is good enough MOST of the time, even in 22 candidate elections! Tom Ruen (talk) 21:15, 1 February 2008 (UTC)

Proposals not yet adopted[edit]

I removed this section, since I've not looked at it in detail, no evidence anyone is interested in keeping it up-to-date, and would rather this article focus on usage, rather than mere proposals. Tom Ruen (talk) 23:48, 11 February 2008 (UTC)

Dozens of states ([3]) have entertained instant runoff voting legislation in recent years. For example, in 2003, an amendment to the California State Constitution was proposed (SCA 14) with wide-ranging goals of election reform, including instant runoff voting for statewide offices. In the state of Washington, activists have been urging adoption of instant runoff voting there for several years; an initiative seeking to adopt instant runoff voting in 2005 failed to garner enough signatures. The city of Vancouver, Washington voted in 1999 to adopt instant runoff voting. The state legislature enacted enabling legislation in 2004, but the city in 2006 chose not to exercise its option. Instant runoff voting has been on a statewide ballot once, in August 2002 in Alaska, where it was defeated. In the U.S. Congress, the "Voter Choice Act of 2005" H.R.2690 sought to require the use of instant runoff voting for general elections for federal office.
I'm going to put it back. Without this kind of information, the article is imbalanced. --Abd (talk) 02:09, 19 February 2008 (UTC)

I didn't care, but the title of this article at least IRV implementations in United States implies expression of actual usage and results over proposals which may never see the light of day and may not be defined in detail how they'll be implemented. Still if a section exists for proposals, I'd support it being split into subsections, one for each location, so it is easier to update and see what's happening. Tom Ruen (talk) 02:13, 19 February 2008 (UTC)

This seems fine to me the way Abd has done it.RRichie (talk) 17:14, 20 February 2008 (UTC)

Nonpolitical usage[edit]

I removed this section below, too long and undetailed to be useful as is. I think its better to have DETAILS of usage in this article, than a simple long list. Tom Ruen (talk) 00:47, 12 February 2008 (UTC)

Instant runoff voting is used in the United States for a growing number of non-governmental elections, including student elections at more than half ([4]) of the nation's 30 leading colleges and universities, as ranked by U.S. News and World Report ([5]). Schools, colleges and universities that use IRV include:
California Institute of Technology, Carleton College (Northfield, MN), College of William and Mary, Clemson University, Cornell University, Duke University, Franklin Elementary School, Harvard, Hendrix College, Johns Hopkins University, Luther College, Macalester College, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Princeton University, Rice University, Reed College, Sonoma State University, Stanford University, Tufts University, University of California at Berkeley, University of California at Davis, University of California at Los Angeles, University of California at San Diego, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, University of Maryland, College Park, University of Minnesota, University of Virginia, University of Washington, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Vassar College, Wake Forest University, Whitman College.
That list was, of course, POV fluff, probably taken from a sock's article. However, pointing to some examples of usage, with actual elections, could be a good thing; problem is, without some overall study, it would be easy to cherry-pick. (And this is going to be a problem with some actual studies: there are plenty of people with an agenda who might write for publication, and study elections with convenient results.) As the matter stands, though, there are few enough IRV elections that have been held in the U.S. that the entire data set can ber reported. That's what I did in the main article, before the text was moved here. I think some important stuff has been taken out while I was busy elsewhere. --Abd (talk) 02:13, 19 February 2008 (UTC)
I think this important information to include in some form -- listing colleges that use IRV isn't POV, along with other NGO uses. There have been some hotly contested, very interesting IRV elections on campus -- examples of articles I've seen about its impact include ones from UVA, Dartmouth, Georgetwon and University of Oklahoma, and a lot of these adoptions have been linked to student campaigns, etc. When we have time, we can direct folks to some of this original material. RRichie (talk) 17:18, 20 February 2008 (UTC)
I agree interesting to know. More than just a list of college usage I'd want more verifyable information on each individually.
I went to the U of MN, found a few older articles in their Daily paper online.
  • [6] September 30, 2003 U students consider instant runoff voting By John Reynolds - Students committed to changing the way the University chooses its leaders met Monday in Coffman Union to rally support. Students from the Democracy Package, an affiliate of the Minnesota Public Interest Research Group, are working to push instant runoff voting - a system that allows voters to rank candidates in order of preference, instead of making one choice.
  • [7] December 15, 2004 MSA OKs runoff voting By Chad Hamblin - The Minnesota Student Association voted on voting Tuesday. MSA passed an amendment to its constitution to elect future presidents with instant runoff voting, which uses a ranking system to elect a candidate. If a person's first choice receives the lowest popular vote, that candidate is removed from the running and the person's second choice is used instead. ... Last year, the Minnesota Public Interest Research Group collected approximately 3,000 student signatures to amend MSA's constitution to use instant runoff voting, Forum member Shaun Laden said. After that amendment appeared on the election ballot last spring, 76 percent of voting students voted for it, which should have ratified it, he said.
  • [8] April 15, 2005 Emily - Colin wins MSA By Bryce Haugen and Jerret Raffety - Undergraduate students elected Emily Serafy Cox and Colin Schwensohn as the new leaders of the Minnesota Student Association on Thursday. "It feels like nothing I have ever felt before," said Serafy Cox, the MSA president-elect. She and Schwensohn, the MSA vice president-elect, received 37 percent of the vote. Current MSA Vice President Amy Jo Pierce and Residential Hall Association President Katie White earned second place, with 24 percent of the vote. MSA Forum member Rubens Feroz and Katy Tagudin came in third, at 22 percent. Students also passed three MSA constitutional amendments, including one that calls for instant runoff voting in MSA presidential elections.
Tom Ruen (talk) 17:57, 20 February 2008 (UTC)
Those election results were not for an IRV election, looks like they were FPTP.....)--Abd (talk) 03:56, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
Like I said older articles, no newer articles showing IRV actually being used! Tom Ruen (talk) 19:31, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
My problem with presenting selected election results without an overall study is that, as I wrote above, results could be cherry-picked. Remember, when I started to go through the elections that have been held, and presented what I found as I found it, I was accused of cherry-picking. Are there any studies of IRV elections at colleges and universities? Certainly, though, selected elections can be presented here in Talk without any problem at all. My problem with the original list was that there was no balance to it. So many colleges and universities ... out of how many? What other methods are in use? Etc. (Are there proportional representation student assemblies? I'd find that pretty interesting....)--Abd (talk) 03:56, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
There is important uses of PR in student elections too -- long-time use at several Ivy League schools and UC-Berkeley, say, and more recent adoptions and uses in schools like Vassar and UC-Davis. Check out what we've been able to find here-- look for references to "STV" and "choice voting" in the rundown of schools -- http://fairvote.org/?page=61 RRichie (talk) 12:42, 21 February 2008 (UTC)


Thanks for all your work on this article, Tom[edit]

I hadn't actually looked at this article for some time; good work, Tom. --Abd (talk) 02:28, 19 February 2008 (UTC)


Cary NC section[edit]

I placed the references along with my edits. The article is quite accurate, even if it does not meet with the approval of Mr. Richie or Mr. Bouricius, who are both pro-IRV advocates with FairVote. I doubt that any inclusion of the information presented by this contributor would be welcomed by Mr. Richie and/or Bouricius.

It is a fact that the winner of the Cary District B race was not determined by the first round - no one had 50% plus one vote of the 3022 votes cast. It is also true that even after all the IRV ballots were exhausted, no one got enough votes in the 2nd or 3rd column to cross that threshold. The "winner" of this race did not get the majority of votes that IRV advocates told us that a single IRV election would ensure. —Preceding unsigned comment added by ProPitbull (talkcontribs) 17:25, 6 August 2008 (UTC)

A new editor recently inserted a long entry full of selective and biased interpretation with no sources and no effort to achieve balance. It is completely inappropriate for a Wikipedia article, not to mention out of line with the rest of the article (odd to have many times more text on this one city compared to other implementations discussed in the article). Someone else recently removed the biased material, but before it gets put back, I wanted to urge this new editor to learn a little about the standards for Wikipedia articles. Tbouricius (talk) 17:45, 10 March 2008 (UTC)

Reversion of RRichie edit re "valid ballots" vs. "first round votes"[edit]

I have reverted the repeated edit of User:RRichie, who, as Rob Richie, the Executive Director of FairVote, has a clear conflict of interest on issues related to IRV. I don't have time today to go over the reasons why "valid ballots" is clearer -- and possibly more correct as well -- than "first round votes," and why Richie's insistence on the latter is POV spin, but I will, later, in a separate section, because I want to distinguish it from the COI issue. In the meantime, this was clearly a controversial edit, and COI editors are warned against making controversial edits. I'm not going to warn him, personally, but any other editor who understands the issue may decide to do so. A warning would be necessary before any further action could be taken, and my practice, when there is some history of conflict between myself and other editors, is to not formally warn such editors, since it tends to be ineffective, as the editor may simply think I'm being combative. If I were combative, I can say this: I'd drop the warning, and if it were disregarded, I'd then go to AN/I with a report and administrative action. This, here, is truly a "friendly warning," and it creates no record that would be readily reviewed by an administrator later. In fact, if Richie does not respond here, I could -- and often do and would -- remove this comment here. If he responds, it would require his consent for removal, and that's true if anyone else responds as well, specifically to this comment. I've been busy, lately, with much less contentious areas of Wikipedia, and have found these "friendly warnings" in article talk more effective than formal warnings dropped on user talk pages, which are a necessary prerequisite for blocking, and thus more readily seen as hostile threats, even though the public warnings might seem otherwise, because it is more "public." --Abd (talk) 16:20, 6 August 2008 (UTC)

Abd -- Look at the particulars of this edit. Read the whole article -- most of which you wrote. Why not write about the Cary results in the same way that the others are written? You are throwing around this COI charge instead of simply addressing the point made, which isn't controversial. It's clearer and more consistent with the rest of the article. I would urge you go to undo you own edit here.
I should note that the new info added by "pitbull" is highly controversial in nature and generally unsourced. I'll be interested to see how you handle it, given your interest in balance, fairness and accuracy.

RRichie (talk) 19:37, 6 August 2008 (UTC)

Second matter first. I noticed that earlier today and will try to get to it tonight. I agree there are problems with it. As to the manner of describing the votes, under some election rules, "valid ballots" would be the same as "first-round votes" and not so with others. The classical description of majority would refer to valid ballots, and "first-round" is a special way of describing it for IRV. The description of "valid ballots" is less likely to be confusing as "first-round votes" but perhaps we should make it really specific. The difference is legally moot under standard governmental election rules in the US where IRV has been eliminated, because exhausted ballots are effectively discarded and disregarded (even if very rank is full, if all three candidates were eliminated). However, because IRV is sold as "guaranteeing majorities," I consider it important to use the classical definition of majority, rather than a special definition created for IRV. I'll think about it, and you are free to propose other alternatives here as well. I want it to be clear. Under most election rules in the U.S., if I'm correct, ballots without votes for an eligible candidate are not "valid ballots." (It's different with Robert's Rules, where a ballot marked in any way is considered valid even if the vote isn't decipherable, but blank ballots are "mere scrap paper." So you can write in, "Nobody, dump the damn office!" and it counts as part of the basis for the majority, under Robert's Rules.

Suppose, though, an IRV ballot has no first-rank votes, or a vote for an ineligible candidate in the first rank, but valid second or third rank votes? How would this count? I've read the rules, and I don't recall the exact details. Would a reader know? (Yes, "round" is not the same as "rank," and I think it is that the highest rank of the lower ranked votes is counted in the first round, probably. Note that San Francisco in the "ballot images," didn't actually report ballot images, i.e, reports of what votes were cast in what ranks, but modified them according to programming, making it impossible to detect certain kinds of voter error or intention.)

Now, consider the application: An election finds a majority but not in the first round. If we write that the candidate won with a "majority of first round votes," it would be true, in a sense, but misleading I.e., the candidate had (Votes after transfers)/(Total First Round Votes) > 50%), but it implies that the candidate won in the first round. But if we say that the candidate won with votes from a majority of valid ballots," it is correct, clear, and simple. I don't see a wording with "first round votes" that is as simple. --Abd (talk) 03:00, 7 August 2008 (UTC)

Inappropriate massive edits by ProPitBull to North Carolina section[edit]

A large amount of material was recently added that appears to be a mixture of fact, fantasy, useful, and venomous rhetoric. Such edits are inappropriate for any encyclopedia. As an example, the edit includes this clearly POV statement... "IRV advocate groups are already roaming North Carolina seeking to sell IRV to local communities..."

I don't have time to wade through this massive amount of material to pick out which statements are true or false, whcih are useful or miss-representations, but the edit as a whole is clearly contrary to Wikipedia standards. Even if the edit were not full of miss-leading argument, its sheer length is out of proportion and inappropriate for such an article. These massive edits are merely about the extension of a pilot program in one state.

If the editor wishes to introduce one point at a time, with sources, they can be reviewed by other editors, accepted, deleted or fixed to restore balance. Tbouricius (talk) 20:29, 6 August 2008 (UTC)

First of all, yes, there are problems with the inserted text. However, simple deleting it enmasse is not acceptable. I'll look at it and leave some out, add cn tags for unsourced claims that I believe to be true, etc. Terrill, please refrain from your own "venomous rhetoric," like using "venomous rhetoric" to describe a statement which is, quite simply, true, i.e., that there are IRV advocate groups trying to convince communities to use IRV. "Sell" spins it, yes, I gree, and should be changed, but it's definitely going on. Isn't it? And is there something bad with that, in itself? Yes, in political rhetoric I might call those groups "snake oil salesmen," but not here. ("Snake oil" refers to a remedy that doesn't work. IRV for towns that hold nonpartisan elections produces the same results, with rare exceptions, as Plurality, and it is likewise being sold as "finding majority winners," when, in fact, in 2/3 of instant runoffs, where a majority isn't found in the first round, it isn't ever found, and the election is won with a plurality of votes from valid ballots, most voters not having voted for the winner.)-Abd (talk) 02:42, 7 August 2008 (UTC)

Well, unfortunately, I started to go over the material, and I found quite a bit of it was reliably sourced. So I undid the massive revert. The language is improper in places, I agree with that. If Bouricius wants to go over it and fix improper language, add cn tags for stuff that is reasonably likely to be true, and take out, with individual edits, pieces that really don't belong there, I'd not object. One section seemed, at first glance, way too long, but ... please don't remove sourced material and if it is presented in a POV manner, fix it, don't delete it. I sympathize and will work as I can over the next few days or next week on this, even if nobody else does. But please don't just take it all out as too much. I'd take some of it out myself tonight if I had time. --Abd (talk) 03:11, 7 August 2008 (UTC)

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Maine 2016[edit]

Would like to see this section expanded and may start collecting relevant links here. In particular, now that 2016 election has passed and Maine voted Yes!, I was wondering how the effort got started? Here is one possible 2014 RS that answers this NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 16:55, 11 November 2016 (UTC)

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