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Hamilton, Butler County, OH November 2, 2010 Election
Smart Voter

Instant Runoff Voting

By Rich Stevenson

Candidate for US Representative; District 1

This information is provided by the candidate
Instant Runoff Voting -- A Top Priority "Citizens Right to Choose My Congress Act" & "Citizens Right to Choose the President Resolution"
Rich will propose legislation to elect all Senators and Representatives by Instant Runoff Voting (IRV) in every State. When passed, the Citizens Right to Choose My Congress Act, will give each citizen the right to cast a ranked vote for each person on his/her ballot for US Senator and US Representative. Under Instant Runoff Voting, each Congressperson elected will have to win with a majority of the votes cast in the last instant runoff vote counted. Thereby, all Congresspersons would be elected with a majority of the votes cast. All citizens would have a better chance to be represented in Congress. The 70% moderate middle would have a voice in Congress. That silent majority would be heard.

End Congressional Deadlock: Radical bipartisan left (liberal) and right (conservative) incumbents would have far less chance to be re-elected by single issue constituents. Polarization in Congress would be greatly reduced. Single issue fights would not waste limited legislative time. Congress could pay attention to our many chronic unresolved problems. There are workable solutions to all of our problems. Public policy can benefit our nation and its people.

Rich: The change to an IRV voting system for Congress under our Constitution would do more to make clean government reforms possible than any other single political reform. Voter choices and preferences would be fully expressed. Instant runoff voting would poll voters in the voting booth where their choices count and their many preferences would be voiced for all to hear. The true intentions of voters would be known rather than hearing mere spin, the "newsworthy story," created by the various media talking heads. Truth would be served, not media broadcast interests. (Top of Page)

With more ballot choices voter turnout would increase. Boring, no difference, bipartisan two-party monopoly choices give people no incentive to vote. Both bipartisan parties are owned by the same special interests. Mere humans have little reason to think their vote might count in a bipartisan election.

John Anderson ran for President in 1980 as an Independent. He had been a Republican congressman. Just before the election he was polling 26%. I voted for Ronald Reagan, a vote I now regret, because I voted against "big government" and Jimmy Carter. I thought John Anderson was the best candidate by far, but I didn't want to "waste my vote."

Anderson ended up with only 8% of the vote instead of a possible victory for himself and the American people. The "one party with two heads" did not get the message of discontent with the bipartisan two-party system. Some people, like me, call bipartisan politics the two-party monopoly or "dictatorship."

If that election had used "instant runoff voting" I could have voted for John Anderson and Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter and any other candidate on the ballot in numerical succession. The whole country would have known that I preferred John Anderson above all the other candidates. If John Anderson had not won with a majority in the first runoff round, my vote for Ronald Reagan would have counted in the second round of the instant runoff. (Top of Page)

My 1992 instant runoff vote would have been Ross Perot, 1. My other numbers would have gone to the other minor party candidates. John Hagelin, Natural Law Party, was one of them. Lenora Fulani, a Black Woman, was one of them, who I currently admire as an independent leader in the fight for small "d" democracy. Bill Clinton, would have gotten my last voting number. I would not have given George Bush a number. Many more votes would have been cast for non-partisan independent and minor party candidates in a fair election setting with the use of Instant Runoff Voting. Who would have gotten your votes (yes, that is plural) in that election?

In 1996, much the same, Perot, 1. Dole would not have gotten any number from me. Dole lied in February 1996 saying that tobacco was not addictive. He still told the obvious lie to protect his 30-year (US Senate) career campaign contributors, to obtain money for his Presidential campaign. Tobacco interests were his priority.

In the year 2000, my votes would have been John Hagelin, 1; Ralph Nader, 2; Harry Browne, 3; no votes for pro-life ultra conservatives like Pat Buchanan, who also is a thief who stole $12.6 million from the real Reform Party; Al Gore, 4; and no vote for King George II, the man who would learn to speak English while occupying the office of President. (Top of Page)

Closer to our home, in 2000 my District One votes would have been Rich Stevenson (I), 1; David Groshoff (L), 2; John Cranley (D), 3 (only to enforce term limits; he did not allow minor parties to debate, etc.); and no vote for Steve Chabot (R), who was running for his fourth term, the 4th time. I am told Chabot once indicated he would only serve three terms (in the Contract for America). Regardless, I think six years is long enough for anyone to serve in the office of Representative to Congress.

How would you vote if you had the luxury of more than one vote in each and every Congressional election? I wish I had more choices and when I go to Congress I will fight to introduce and pass legislation to have "Instant Runoff Voting" used to elect all US Senators and Representatives to the US Congress. As indicated above, I would sponsor legislation appropriately entitled the "Citizens Right to Choose My Congress Act."

Voters would have many votes to choose Congressional leaders who effect every aspect of their lives. We could have a democratic republic, a government that serves everyone equally. "A government of, by and for the people."

A Note on Presidential Elections: Electing the President is a different problem. There is no authority in the Constitution for the Congress to legislate to regulate State Presidential Election laws or that regulate the assignment of Electoral Votes for President. However, a sense of the Congress resolution could be passed that endorsed the assignment of Electoral Votes according to the popular vote for President in each state. The resolution could also include support for IRV election of the President. The National Governor's Association could pass a similar resolution. Proportional assignment of Electoral Votes by popular vote under State law in every state would fulfill each "Citizens Right to Choose the President Resolution." Laws to assign Electoral Votes in proportion to the popular vote would have to be passed state by state in each state legislature. Florida (2000) and Ohio (2004) would be good places to start for obvious reasons.

To choose the President by IRV elections and assign Electoral Votes proportionally, a "Citizens Right to Choose My President Act" with those provisions would have to be passed state by state in each of the fifty states.

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