U mock election begins today

by K.C. Howard

Students can voice their U.S. presidential preferences today in a campus-area mock election that features a new way to elect public representatives.

The University’s Minnesota Public Interest Research Group will sponsor four polling stations at which students can rank candidates through instant runoff voting.

From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. students can vote at Willey Hall, the recreation center, St. Paul Student Center and Coffman Union’s basement level.

In an instant runoff election, voters rank candidates rather than choose one. If no candidate has more than half the vote, officials eliminate the least supported one and count those ballots’ second choices for president. They repeat the process until the winner has a majority.

Students can rank candidates that campus political groups endorsed for the ballot: President George W. Bush, Democratic hopeful John Kerry, independent candidate Ralph Nader, Libertarian Gary Nolan and the Green Party, which the Campus Greens endorsed for the ballot because the party has no presidential front-runner.