Pierce County, WA - Repeal:
Pierce County WA used Ranked Choice Voting in their county elections. It turned out out to be confusing, expensive, elected a gadfly, & reduced turnout.
There was a lot of "buyers remorse".
Voters quickly repealed IRV.
The Save RCV Campaign was funded by "Dark Money" from an out-of-state group, which did not report where it's $ came from.
Election Staff Report:
Election Commission Staff Report about what it took to run the IRV Election: - Key point- They spent $1.7 Million just for IRV portion, a survey of 90,000 voters - 66% of voters did not like IRV
Pierce County IRV Repeal Ordinance:
28% of voters had their ballots tossed out and not counted (click image for hi-res):
Articles about IRV & the Repeal:
Editorial - IRV Elected an unqualified GADFLY: "The other reason was instant runoff voting, an intriguing yet confusing election method that had never been used in this part of the country before. It was approved by voters, then withdrawn by another vote after Washam took office. The gadfly from Puyallup got nowhere near a majority of the vote, but with so many candidates and a system that gave credit to second and third-place votes, Washam finally won an election. Certainly the fact that he had run so many times gave him some name recognition, so some voters may have picked him simply for that reason."
Study: - Turnout lower for IRV contest: "Two issues of under voting emerged in the RCV contests in Pierce County. The first issue—that turnout was generally higher for non-RCV contests—came about likely for two reasons. First, absentee voters, who comprised 84% of all voters, received two ballots in the mail—one for traditional contests, the other for RCV contests. About 20,000 voters did not return their RCV ballots but returned their traditional ballots. In other words, turnout was lower for the RCV contests."
Save IRV Campaign take DARK MONEY from out of State group: "Fair Vote has contributed more than 80 percent of the money raised." - "Hays says the contributions undermine the principal that “local issues should be decided by local people.” He contends Fair Vote has not disclosed its contributors, so voters don’t know who’s ultimately behind the contributions. And he suggests the contributions are illegal because Fair Vote is a nonprofit and can’t support a political campaign."
Pierce voters nix "ranked choice voting": "It was advertised as the latest cool thing in voting - "instant-runoff voting" - "Voters surveyed said by a 2-to-1 margin that they didn't like the system. It went back on the ballot -and voters have thrown it out by a 71-29 margin."
Editorial - Charter Commission should remember the past mistakes: -"Look back to the 2006 charter review cycle for an example of a commission taking a wrong turn. Ranked-choice voice was the next cool election idea, winning the support of the commission, the voters and this newspaper’s editorial board. But instead of being as “easy as 1-2-3,” RCV caused rampant confusion and was repealed a few years later. It would behoove this year’s review panel to remember that mistake."