Hoboken resident Ian Rintel: Another reason to vote yes and reinstate runoff elections
I’m only chiming because in my opinion one very important point in the run-off versus no run-off debate is being missed or at least not given the attention it should.
Plurality Voting’s greatest weakness as a voting system comes to light when the number of candidates becomes quite large. I can live with Ravi Bhalla becoming mayor as the most popular candidate of four major candidates but what happens when a future election is won by just one of six, eight or twelve candidates? What happens if there are 19 candidates?
Besides having an elected official that likely received a very small minority of the vote – this could be a way for a candidate with unpopular views “win”. What if the only Republican among a very crowded field wins? And what if it’s a very “conservative” Republican? What if we then have someone who is Anti-Choice, Anti-Gay Marriage, Anti-Vaccination and generally regressive in their views, elected to our council or elected as mayor?
This has actually happened recently and not long ago: https://www.city-journal.org/html/new-politics-bret-schundler-empowerment-not-entitlement-12621.html
Granted, Bret Schundler turned out to be a popular, progressive Republican – but that is not guaranteed to happen. Not having run offs could be a disaster for Hoboken.
I am NOT in favor of low turnout Run-off elections – but I’m even more NOT in favor of plurality elections, so I’ll be voting to bring them back, the same way I voted the last time we had this referendum. I hope you’ll consider my thoughts and consider that in this case voting to bring back run-off elections is the better of two bad systems.