Instant runoff voting

The recent gridlock between Al Franken and Norm Coleman illustrates a fundamental flaw in our voting system: The inability to cast a vote for your âÄúsecond choiceâÄù through Instant Runoff Voting. We are blessed in Minnesota to have a prominent third party that offers an alternative and often forces our political debates away from black and white, right and left politics. But when Independence candidates take a significant 5 to 15 percent of the vote, it arguably leaves Minnesotans with elected representation that does not accurately represent the peoplesâÄô political leanings. Many who voted for Barkley have a stance on whether they would prefer Coleman or Franken in office. And some of us who voted for Coleman or Franken would have put our support behind Barkley had we not been afraid of losing our ability to voice which major-party candidate represented us the least. Instant Runoff Voting is a system that continues our striving to be a more perfect democracy, allowing people to articulate their varying preferences in the voting booth and move us beyond the binary political system that so many of us want out of. Brandon Wiarda University student