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Green Party of California

Greens Applaud Nader, Dean Support of Instant Runoff Voting ‘Solution' During National Debate Friday

For immediate release: July 9, 2004

Cres Vellucci, GPCA Spokesperson, 916-996-1970,
Beth Moore Haines, GPCA Spokesperson, 530-277-0610,
Sara Amir, GPCA Spokesperson, 310-270-7106,

SACRAMENTO – The Green Party of California applauded comments by Independent Presidential candidate Ralph Nader and former Democratic contender Howard Dean Friday during a national debate when both embraced the use of instant runoff voting as a way to resolve the so-called "spoiler effect" of third parties.

A question concerning IRV was submitted to the debate at the National Press Club, broadcast on CSPAN and National Public Radio, by Santa Monica Mayor pro tem and Green Party national committee member Kevin McKeown.

IRV, a major plank of the Green Party platform not yet adopted by GOP and Democratic parties, allows voters to rank their choices for an office and encourages people to vote their conscience. If a voter's choice finishes last, that candidate is eliminated and the vote then goes to the voter's next choice.

Dean said the "spoiler problem" would be negated by IRV. "We need complete election reform. Ralph Nader would not be a threat (to defeating Bush) if we had IRV," said Dean.

And, Nader said that IRV would have helped Dean stay in the Democratic Party presidential race, explaining that major parties have "leverage because they deny people's good to see how (IRV) works."

"Voters should have the freedom to vote their consciences; neither major party 'owns' our votes," McKeown said. "Rather that arguing about alleged 'spoiler' effect,' wouldn't it be more productive to institute ranked voting in this country, whereby voters get more choices and winners must be elected by a true majority?"

McKeown added that IRV has been adopted in San Francisco and is used throughout much of the rest of the world. Letting voters rank their choices means a true majority carries the election, and so-called spoiling just cannot happen, he said. -30-

The Green Party of California
P.O. Box 2828, Sacramento, CA 95812
Phone: (916) 448-3437