In March 2002 local voters approved a system of instant runoff voting that supporters and detractors alike insisted would forever alter the way San Francisco chooses its political leaders. Proposition A was supposed to change the rules of the road for the city's political establishment, embodied by outgoing Mayor Willie Brown and his anointed would-be successor, Supervisor Gavin Newsom. By making a voter's second and third ballot choices count for something, IRV (also known as ranked choice voting) does away with runoff elections. In San Francisco, as elsewhere, such elections are often marked by low voter turnout and, according to conventional wisdom, are notorious for the ease with which powerful interests are able to influence the outcome by... More >>>