After taking considerable testimony on the instant runoff voting (IRV) bill, H.665, last year, the House Committee on Local Government sponsored House Resolution 37, which was adopted by the full House in April 1998. HR.37 established the Vermont Commission to Study Preference Voting. The Commission has 11 members appointed by the League of Women Voters and Common Cause in accordance with HR.37.
The Commission members are:
There are two general types of preference voting mentioned in HR.37. The Commission early on decided to focus on statewide elections with IRV, and not on legislative elections with proportional representation. The Commission: sponsored numerous mock elections using preference voting in junior and high senior high schools across Vermont; sought input from a variety of civic organizations; established a "devils advocate" committee to gather arguments against instant runoff voting; and heard from expert witnesses. We would like to particularly thank Gregory Sanford, state archivist; Dr. William Grover, chair of the St. Michaels College political science department; Dr. Douglas Amy, author and professor of politics at Mt. Holyoke College; Rep. Terry Bouricius; and the Center for Voting and Democracy, a Washington, D.C.-based nonpartisan educational organization that provided administrative and technical assistance in carrying out the Commissions work.