There is an editorial in the Columbus Ledger-Inquirer about the cost incurred during runoff elections. The author claims, “…if there’s a better way to preserve the will of the people —- specifically those who bother to vote —- and the integrity of the electoral process, we’ve yet to hear it.”
There is a better way…Instant Runoff Voting.
IRV eliminates the spoiler effect that is sometime caused by third party and independent candidates and the issue of the “wasted vote,” as well as non-partisan races where there are often more than two candidates on the ballot.
Let’s use the Public Service Commission race for an example. Libertarian Paul McGregor was able to take 4.9% of the vote in a three way race, enough to put the two major party candidates under the 50% margin. Republican Chuck Eaton managed 46.3% and Democrat David Burgess received 48.8%.
If IRV was in place voters that cast their ballot for McGregor could have made a second choice, be it Burgess or Eaton, on November 7th…avoiding a costly runoff four weeks later. The winner would have been declared within 24 hours of the election. You can watch an animated guide on IRV here for a more detailed explanation.
This is another issue that the Georgia General Assembly and the Secretary of State should take a look at in the next session.