Local Gov’t Stories, Events
Ref. : Civic Events
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Books, Films, Arts & Education
Ref. : Letters to the editor
Health Care & Environment
03.23 Two Ohio coal-fired plants to close, deepening industry decline [hurrah!]
03.22 Carbon fibre: the wonder material with a dirty secret [making solid-state carbon products removes carbon from the atmoshere, diminishing CO2 as a warming factor]
03.22 World Water Day: one in four children will live with water scarcity by 2040 [watch and learn: "conservatives around the world will fight public water projects to support privatization and for-profit (mafia-like?) "solutions"]
News Media Matters
03.20 Google braces for questions as more big-name firms pull adverts [practice confers unmerited legitimacy to extremist videos]
US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'
03.24 Healthcare bill hangs in balance as Republicans agonise over Trump's vote gamble [cross your fingers and make a wish]
03.23 Has the Trump Budget Blown Republicans’ Cover? [an immoral focus]
03.23 Trump’s Spending Cuts Would Create the Black America He’s Been Talking About [an immoral focus]
03.23 Trump-Russia inquiry in 'grave doubt' after GOP chair briefs White House [0:56 video]
Economics, Crony Capitalism
03.21 Forbes billionaire list: Trump loses $1bn as elite club gets 233 new members [how're YOU doin?]
03.19 Why transaction laundering is turning into a huge financial blindspot [what happens when bad actors–usually Republicans–weaken or stop effective regulations to avoid taxes]
03.21 Paul Manafort, Former Trump Campaign Chief, Faces New Allegations in Ukraine [birds of a feather...]
03.20 UN asks UK to suspend work on Hinkley Point [why allow the potential of a Fukushima catastrophe?]
Takoma Park Holds First Instant Run-off Vote Election in Maryland HistoryThe first-ever instant run-off vote election in Maryland was held in District 5, Takoma Park on January 30, in a special election to replace long-time city councilman Marc Elrich. By letting voters rank their choices, instant run-off voting, according to one advocate for this method, "frees voters to vote for what they want, not vote against what they fear." Its proponents believe this voting method is a democracy reform that will help put the "representative" back in representative democracy.
Three candidates waged campaigns for the seat in the Takoma Park election. Voters had the option of voting for their top two candidates, thereby ensuring a majority winner. The uncomplicated vote was conducted on paper. A total of 204 ballots were cast; the winning candidate, Reuben Snipper received 107 votes.
FairVote, the leading national advocacy group for instant runoff voting, is based in Takoma Park, as is the election watchdog group that advocates for voter-verified paper ballots, TrueVoteMD. A coalition of groups and individuals is currently working to bring IRV to the statewide level.
FairVote did a survey of voters and found widespread support for IRV. Preliminary results show that nearly 90% of those voting in the Takoma Park election found it easy to use, and the vast majority wanted it expanded to other elections.
Kevin Zeese is executive director of DemocracyRising.US and a co-founder of VotersForPeace.US. He was a Green Party candidate for U.S. Senate from Maryland in 2006.
Copyright © 2007 The Baltimore Chronicle. All rights reserved.
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This story was published on February 2, 2007.