Village of New Paltz considers runoff system for voting

The Village of New Paltz could be a proving ground for alternative voting methods, if some residents get their way. The primary mechanism being suggested is instant runoff voting, under which a voter would rank the candidates for a given office. If no candidate receives a majority, the voters who selected the candidates who got the least votes would have their choice switched to their second selection, and the votes would be tallied again, with the process repeating until one candidate received a majority. Tweaks to the system that could make it more accurate, but also more complicated, were also discussed.

Mayor Tim Rogers warned that a system which is too complex would not be popular, as “voters do not like to be confused.” However, a resolution about the change will be considered once forwarded by the idea’s proponents. Any change would require approval by the state legislature.

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