By the Green Party of Colorado

Hailing the passage of a new state law encouraging local governments to use Instant Runoff Voting, Colorado Green Party members have called on cities and counties around the state to implement ranked voting methods in upcoming elections.

In May, Governor Bill Ritter signed into law HB08-1378. It was championed by state Representative John Kefalas (D-Fort Collins) and former Green. The Voter Choice Act permits cities and counties to use ranked voting methods, and requires the Secretary of State to create rules for conducting such local elections.

“If politics is the art of the next step, than Rep. Kefalas’ election reform measure is a Picasso,” said Art Goodtimes, San Miguel County Commissioner and Green Party member. “Instant Runoff Voting will save taxpayer money, guarantee majority wins, and allow citizens to vote for multiple candidates of their choosing—that means more candidates, more choice, more democracy. It’s darn exciting.”

“It is long past time to extend this form of voting to all elections held in Colorado,” said Bob Kinsey, Green Party candidate for Colorado’s U.S. Senate seat. “Voters deserve a broader range of choices than what the so-called two-party system provides. Money, name recognition and image will become less significant. Voters will feel more empowered and become more active in the process.”

Dr. Ron Forthofer, former Green Party candidate for governor is also a member of the 2007 Voter Choice Task Force. The task force was instrumental is laying the foundation for the new law. Forthofer said the momentum for voting reform is growing.

Ranked voting methods have been used in dozens of American cities over the years. In Colorado, Basalt and Aspen have already adopted ranked voting, while cities like Grand Junction and Boulder have used these methods in the past. Minneapolis (MN), Oakland (CA) and Burlington (VT) are among cities that recently switched to ranked voting methods.

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