Response from Senator Frosh

Tom Bryer tombryer at
Mon, 16 Apr 2001 11:02:57 -0700 (PDT)

Hi, all --

I got a letter from Senator Brian Frosh (D-Montgomery
County), who sits on the Senate Committee on Economic
and Environmental Matters.  His letter was in response
to an email I sent his office prior to the hearing on
SB 233.

He of course noted that SB 233 didn't get through
committee, though he didn't note how he voted (does
anybody have this information, as to who voted which

He cited as a reason for the bill's failure,
paraphrased, "members of the committee were concerned
that IRV would confound a situation like we saw in

This concern, to my memory, was not brought up during
the hearing, and is completely absurd. If this was
truly the stake that killed the bill than we should
take note and tailor future testimonies and
discussions to derail this concern.

Also below find a news snippet that was recently
emailed to me from

I am much amused by Senator Harris' opposing argument.
"We don't want to open the can of worms ..." with
respect to our elections' legitimacy.


Instant runoff elections would provide a majority 

EDITOR'S NOTE: Political Notes is a compilation of
political news items that appears periodically. 

Imagine yourself sequestered in a voting booth,
marking a vote for your favorite candidate. Then
imagine picking a second choice for the same office. 

Some voting activists who want to ensure that a
winning candidate receives a majority of votes are
promoting an "instant runoff" method of voting for

They've enlisted the support of Sen. Paul Pinsky,
D-Prince George's, who testified before the Senate
Economic and Environmental Affairs Committee this week
that Maryland needs voting reform. 

The issue resonates strongly after the 2000
presidential election's controversial outcome, in
which Green Party candidate Ralph Nader played a
"spoiler" role, he said. 

The current system is problematic because it can
result in a winner receiving only a plurality of
votes, Mr. Pinsky said. 

"It will put someone else in office who doesn't have a
majority of votes," he said. "How can (the public)
have confidence in the voting?" 

The proposed reform would allow voters to rank their
candidate choices. If a voter's first choice is
eliminated, the second choice is counted until there
is a majority vote for the eventual winner. 

Thomas Bryer, executive director of Reform America,
said the reform would empower voters and increase the
legitimacy of the elected leader ship in voters' eyes.

However, Sen. Andrew Harris, R-Baltimore County, said
questioning the legitimacy of elections or elected
officials "opens a can of worms we don't want to get
into," he said. 



Tom Bryer
Reform America

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