The CRV's corrections to Vermont report's "executive summary"

Misleading quotes: "Vermont's plurality election rules allow for the election of a candidate with the most, but less than half, of the votes, even if the majority of voters oppose this candidate and prefer a different one." "IRV assures that a candidate preferred by the majority of voters will not be defeated by a candidate preferred by a minority."

Correction: Although the first sentence is true, is misleads by suggesting that IRV would fix this problem; the second sentence is flat-out false. The truth is that IRV can also elect a candidate with "less than half of the (top-rank) votes, even if the majority of voters... prefer a different one." (example where IRV elects a candidate D with 17% of the top-rank votes, despite the fact that 33% of the voters gave C their top-rank vote and the electorate explicitly stated in their votes that they preferred C over D by a landslide margin of nearly 2-to-1 over voters preferring C over D).

Misleading quote: "IRV would allow citizens to honestly vote according to their consciences. With Vermont's existing system, some voters struggle with the decision of whether to vote for the candidate they actually prefer, or whether to vote for a perceived `lesser evil' candidate who may have a better chance of winning, for fear of inadvertently helping the candidate the voter likes the least. IRV does not penalize a voter for voting honestly, as can happen with our existing system."

Correction: This is simply flat-out false: IRV can indeed penalize a voter for voting honestly (example, and another) by then causing the "greater evil" to be elected, whereas a dishonest vote would have caused the "lesser evil" to be elected. Also, IRV can penalize a voter for voting at all, i.e, a voter, by casting his honest vote, causes a worse election result than if he simply had refused to vote (example).

Misleading quote: "IRV does not give advantage or disadvantage to major parties or minor parties."

Correction: This is simply flat-out false. IRV has led, in every country that has used it, to self-reinforcing 2-party domination, same as with plurality voting. This is agreed by analysts in those countries. It is not in dispute. It is particularly clear in Australia (whose house is 2-party dominated since it uses IRV, but whose senate is not, since it does not use IRV) and Malta (massive 2-party domination) which are the two countries with the greatest historical experience using IRV. Indeed again according to the Australian analysts at the "disadvantages of the Preferential [IRV] System" include "it promotes a two-party system to the detriment of minor parties and independents." And see, e.g. this paper.

Misleading quotes: "IRV is preferable to a two-round runoff election in that it saves money, assures that the deciding election will have maximum voter turnout, and does not face constitutional problems" "IRV does not increase the cost of elections."

Correction: It is not at all clear that the single-round IRV system "saves money" versus a two-round runoff, because (a) each round of the two-round runoff may be counted using old-style, non-computerized, non-networked, plurality-voting machines, but counting an IRV election cannot, and (b) in the two-round runoff system, often the second round is not needed, and (c) IRV makes near-ties and ties much more common, which often lead to costly litigation and recounts. We are not saying their "saves money" claim is necessarily false, but it is not supported by a shred of actual financial evidence anywhere in the Vermont report and hence we see no clear reason to believe it is true either. It is mere unsupported speculation and as such does not belong in this report, especially with the opposing point of view being (as here) simply ignored. Obviously if you have to buy all new voting machines, that is a big expense.

It is completely false to say IRV "does not increase the cost of elections" (versus the plain plurality system Vermont uses now) since obviously it will. Indeed according to the Australian analysts at (Australia has more experience with IRV than any other country) the "disadvantages of the Preferential [IRV] System" include "it is more complicated to administer and count."

Also, two-round runoffs have been used all over the USA for many years (e.g. New York City and Denver mayoral elections) and do not "face constitutional problems." (The text misleadingly implies that they do but IRV does not.)

Misleading quote: "IRV tends to reduce negative campaigning. One reason for this is concern over alienating voters who would not give a nasty campaigner a second-preference vote, which that candidate might need to win."

Correction: This statement cannot be called "false" since it is subjective and vague and undefined – but it similarly cannot be called "true"! The Vermont report does not present one iota of historical evidence for this. It is mere unsupported speculation and as such does not belong in this report. And there in fact is some evidence which might suggest the contrary.

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