Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Are runoffs a waste of time and money?

From the NY Times:

Here is how the primary runoff in New York was supposed to work: To avoid nominating a politically vulnerable fringe candidate for the general election in November, a second election would be conducted between the top two vote-getters if no one received at least 40 percent of the vote.

Here is how it has worked since the first runoff, in 1973, in a city where enrolled Democrats outnumber Republicans by about 6 to 1: More often than not, the citywide candidate who finished first in the primary but failed to win by 40 percent won in the runoff and then went on to easily win the election in November.

This year, too, whoever wins Tuesday’s runoff in the public advocate and comptroller races is virtually assured victory in November.

Still, the city’s Board of Elections will spend about $15 million to mount the runoff, and the four candidates competing in the election can legally spend a total of nearly $8 million. Fewer than 10 percent of registered Democrats are expected to vote.

So the question among some government watchdog groups is whether runoffs, at least in New York, are superfluous.


kingb said...

the solution is instant runoff voting (IRV)


Anonymous said...

Choice for comptroller? Corrupt or more corrupt. Get ready for an invasion...of your pockets by these thieving asswipes. What's the use of a runoff when the candidates are sewer sludge?

Ridgewoodian said...

kingb: the solution is instant runoff voting (IRV)

My thought exactly.

Anonymous said...

Yes. Yes, they are.

Anonymous said...

All I know is...that at PS 32 in Queens at 3:00 PM my wife was #18 at the voting booth just behind table #7.

If the primary pulled only 9% of the voters...I wonder what this runoff will be pulling?

Don't you dare complain...ANY OF YOU OUT THERE...that America is being taken over.

The real truth is that by choosing not to vote your giving it away!!!

Anonymous said...

An armchair patriot:

One who bellows the loudest but is too G-d damn lazy to even vote.

Ah...f--k it all and pass me another brewskie!

Anonymous said...

Maybe the time for SECURE electronic voting via home computer has come since we're all so freakin' lazy.

Then we can have an instant runoff just like "instant replay".

Save everybody a lot of shit and expense all around!

Anonymous said...

The problem with the "secure" computer voting is that no one really believes that it is secure. Even if it is tamper-proof, if the voters don't trust it, it's useless.