Un-American, ill-advised and expensive. The Honolulu City Council has a long list of reasons as to why state lawmakers ought to kill a move meant to improve its current voting system.
Council members on Wednesday passed a resolution urging state lawmakers not to pass House Bill 638, which would bring instant runoff voting to Honolulu and other counties. The measure is two steps away from passing with state representatives set to discuss it in a conference committee Thursday morning.
Instant runoff voting allows voters to rank their candidates by preference instead of choosing a single candidate. Advocates for the system say it enables the candidate with the most general support to win. If no one wins the majority, the candidate with the fewest number of votes is removed from the race, and the eliminated candidate’s votes are transferred to the voters’ second-choice candidate. This process continues until a winner emerges.
The council’s opposition is ironic given that instant runoff voting has garnered public interest in large part because of a December council race. In that race, Tom Berg was one of 14 candidates in a special election to represent District 1 and won with just 2,326 votes — or 4.3 percent of registered voters.