Instant runoffs are now a reality

Great news! Governor Easley signed the Elections Amendment Act (S-1263) into law! This important legislation authorizes the continued use of the instant runoff voting pilot program for willing municipalities.

The next step for IRV will include a review by the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Government in order to determine the best way to implement instant runoff elections without compromising election security. Finally, the School of Government will help municipalities decide whether IRV would be beneficial to use in their future elections.

The future of IRV

After much debate, the Elections Amendment Act (S-1263) was approved by both chambers of the NC General Assembly by large margins. The bill will go to Governor Easley for final approval to become law.

Section 3 of the bill authorizes the continuation of IRV pilots for the next three years, until 2011. It is our hope that both advocates and opponents of this legislation will work together to ensure that instant runoff voting elections in North Carolina are run effectively and securely.

Help us celebrate democracy today!

Bill S-1263 (PCS version) was "overwhelmingly adopted by a voice vote" by the House committee on Election Law and Campaign Finance Reform after several amendments on Wednesday, July 2.

The bill is now headed to Judiciary I for a final vote on July 8, 2008. The meeting will take place in room 1228 of the Legislative Building if you'd like to attend the meeting.

Misinformation about IRV

The Wake Board of Elections chair, John H. Gilbert, has a letter to the editor in today's News & Observer correcting misinformation in a recent Point of View op ed opposing IRV. He said the board endorsed the pilot program knowing the ballots would have to be hand-counted.

He also noted whether IRV is used or not election night results are unofficial until the board meets to certify them.

Click here to read the full letter


This Wednesday, advocates of instant runoff voting such as leaders of Democracy North Carolina and the North Carolina League of Women Voters will gather to speak at a hearing of the House standing committee on Election Law and Campaign Finance Reform at 1:00 pm in 1425 LB.

Charlotte Observer favors instant voting

The Charlotte Observer published an article in favor of instant runoff voting on June 26th, 2008 entitled "Labor commission runoff cost $55 a vote."

The price of the statewide runoff for the Democratic candidate for Labor Commissioner cost the state about $55 a vote, roughly $5 million with a voter turnoff of 2%. In Mecklenburg County, the total cost reached approximately $444,000 despite 0.8% turnout in the area, roughly $120 a vote.

Is a single runoff worth this much of our state's tax dollars when there is a better way?

Was the runoff a walk-off?

The Democratic primary run-off for Labor Commissioner drew a whopping 1.87% of the electorate. At this rate, our democracy will soon evolve to the point that we'll be able to have really inexpensive primaries and elections; just let the three people who will show up to vote decide who gets the office.

Its not instant, but its a runoff

It was an exciting primary season for North Carolinians. We were a factor and major presidential candidates even showed up. Now that the presidential candidates have been chosen the primaries are over. Except that they aren't. We just have one more thing undecided - who is the democratic candidate for state labor commissioner. To make sure this gets decided there was a runoff election of the top two candidates.

More info can be found here

The major points of this article:

IRV beats runoff

It will cost NC taxpayers $5 million to pay for the runoff primary for state Labor Commissioner. That's a dramatic example of why IRV is a better way to run elections, as Elena Everett and Lynice Williams argue in an op ed "Instant voting beats a runoff" printed in the June 16 News & Observer. Read the full story at

League of Women Voters NC Endorses IRV!

The North Carolina League of Women Voters (LWVNC) recently held their annual council meeting in Hickory the weekend of May 31st, 2008. At the council meeting, statewide members unanimously adopted a position supporting the use of instant runoff voting for local and statewide elections in North Carolina. The following has been posted on their website:

About Instant Runoff Voting

Resources, articles, research on instant runoff voting

IRV: Faster, Cheaper, Better!
IRV: Make your vote count!
See how IRV ballots are counted
IRV and Racial Minorities
The Cary Experience
Cary, NC and Hendersonville, NC voters overwhelming preferred IRV to other election methods. See exit poll summaries for the 2007 municipal elections for Cary and Hendersonville.

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