Executive Director John Pudner On Why Instant Runoffs Will Save Money In Georgia

“Instant-runoff most importantly saves Georgia a ton of money. The local option would
just be saying the locality can use this instead of a traditional run-off if they want and
running a run-off kills local budgets. For example, DeKalb County has to pay about
$300,000 if they end up having to run a run-off. For Fulton County, it’s $1.1 million and
for Cobb County, it’s almost $300,000. So for a lot of these localities, especially smaller
ones, run-offs are a real budget breaker. If they instead had the option of instant-runoff, it
would save all that money.

There are two ways to implement Instant-runoff in Georgia. The first is just a local
option. The second way is having a Study Committee in place to study the process for a
year, and let voters have input before they then make a recommendation going into the
2021 session. Neither of these routes would affect the upcoming November presidential
races, or any of the state-wide races.

Other states like Utah are having great success with Instant-runoff giving a nice apples to
apples comparison because they used the local option. In their last state elections over
90% of voters listed their second preferred candidates on their ballot. In comparison, the
last Georgia State Senate race saw Kay Kirpatrick win after a run-off, but had only half
of the initial voters turn out the second time. Utah’s really given us a great example by
being the first one to try this kind of option.”

To read John’s op-ed in its entirety click here

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