The Michigan Daily - Monday, June 19, 2006 - 3
Coalition pressures City
Council to put the alternative
voting system on November ballot
By Emily Angell
For the Daily
The Arbor Brewing Company may want to pro-
mote Olde No. 22 German Alt to house favorite.
This past Wednesday, the Ann Arbor Fair Vote
Coalition demonstrated instant-runoff voting by
allowing individuals to test and rank a variety of
beers using the IRV system. Olde No. 22 came
out on top.
For the Ann Arbor Fair Vote Coalition and its sup-
porters, the fund-raiser was the most recent action in
support ofIRV, a system asking each voter to rank the
candidates in order of preference.
IRV is designed to eliminate the possibility of a
dark-horse candidate and increase the impact each
voter has on the election.
If an individual's first-choice candidate receives the
lowest amount of votes and is eliminated, the vote is
then assigned to the voter's second-choice candidate.
This process continues until one candidate receives
more than 50 percent of the vote.
push for instant-runoff voting
For years, advocates of the system have discussed parameters of the current system," he said. The opposition also argues that the current machin-
IRV's benefits, including a greater variety of contend- The principal concern among IRV enthusiasts is the ery used to tabulate votes would not accommodate an
ers and the removal of the "spoiler" effect - when low turnout rate during the August primaries, when IRV ballot. This problem has suspended the imple-
one candidate hurts the chances of an ideologically many Ann Arbor residents and University students mentation of IRV in Ferndale, where it was recently
similar candidate winning. Supporters also argue are out of town. Another concern is cost - each year, approved by 75 percent of voters.
that IRV will promote civility between candidates the city spends upward of $50,000 on primaries. For Kestenbaum, the solution is simple. Because
during campaigns and save taxpayers money. By eliminating the August primary, its support- odd-year elections are not as large, the city's present
Coalition members hope pressure from the ers argue IRV would save taxpayer money, increase machines would be able to count the first-choice votes.
community will push the City Council to endorse voter turnout in November and enable a broader If afterwards there was not a clear winner, the second-
the new system and place it on the November bal- spectrum of candidates to run for election. and third-choice votes could be counted by hand.
lot. Although the city council does not require any They also predict Ann Arbor will see an Ann Arbor has a history with IRV. In 1975, IRV
signatures, the coalition has currently collected increase in the number of candidates involved in was added to the Ann Arbor City Charter after
15,000 in support of IRV. each election in the future. receiving 52 percent of the vote.
"In the past, I have been afraid to vote for my top "Adopting (IRV) generally makes sense when Supporters emphasized that IRV helped
candidate because he or she is not the most popular multi-candidate elections are common," said Public Democrat Al Wheeler, who became the first
choice," said one Ann Arbor resident. "I'm sick of Policy Prof. John Chamberlin. black mayor, defeat incumbent Republican
being afraid that my vote will end up supporting the The voting disaster in Florida during the 2000 Mayor James Stephenson that year.
candidate I like the least." presidential election is one controversy in a series Although IRV was later eradicated in 1976, it
If adopted, IRV would be used in odd-year pri- of many that has heightened concern among citi- demonstrated that the voting system could impact
maries to elect City Council members. Plurality zens and increased interest in alternative voting the outcome of elections.
voting, the current system, would remain in use methods. In the United States, the IRV method has The coalition ultimately believes that by educat-
during even-year elections when gubernatorial and been implemented in more than 21 cities and has ing residents of alternative voting options, Ann Arbor
national elections occur. also proven successful in Australia, the Republic may become a successful model of IRV.
Larry Kestenbaum, the Washtenaw County of Ireland and in London, England. Supporters hope that in years to come, Ann
clerk, said IRV would not completely replace the Those opposed to IRV argue that the complex- Arbor will pave the way for other cities in Michi-
traditional structure. ity of the ballot may deter voters with a lower gan and eventually enable IRV to affect elections
"I hope to create a ballot that would fit within the education level. at both the state and national level.
Continued from Page 2
should know about - if there's a
history of sudden death in their
family, if they themselves have felt
faint or especially tired on the play-
ing field," said spokeswoman for
the University Health System Kara
Gavin in an e-mail.
Last month, the University opened
a clinic in its Cardiovascular Center
that specializes in HCM treatment.
"We felt there was a need to really
cater to these patients," said Medi-
cal School Prof. Sharlene Day, the
She said that the intensity of com-
petitive athletics usually triggers
arrhythmias. About 1 percent of
individuals with HCM die of sudden
death each year.
Day said sudden deaths are asso-
ciated most often with playing
aggressive sports or bursts of activ-
ity, such as basketball, football or
Using imaging techniques and
electrocardiograms, the new clinic
offers screenings for family mem-
bers of HCM patients to determine
if they carry the genetic mutation.
Nearly all individuals diagnosed
with HCM have an abnormal EKG.
Booi said she was impacted
strongly by the student's death
because she is also a 25-year-old
graduate student who exercises
After witnessing the student's
death, Booi did not want to take
any chances - she had an EKG this
Although one in 500 people may
suffer from HCM, one in 200,000
dies from a sudden death each year.
"It's important to emphasize that
this is still a very rare event," Day
said. "I don't think people should
To learn more about cardiovas-
cular disease, visit the University
Cardiovascular Center's website at
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call: 734-662-8200 or u niCU.Org
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