This week city taxpayers spent $13 million to hold an election for an office whose budget is $2 million a year. Hey, elections are sacrosanct, but the cost-benefit ratio of the Democratic primary runoff for public advocate just highlights the need for reform of our system.
That reform is instant runoff balloting. That’s a system in which you rank candidates in your order of preference, obviating the need for another day of balloting.
Look at what our existing system did to poor Bill Thompson. With rival Bill de Blasio winning right around 40 percent of the vote, the magic number to avert a runoff, but with the vote tally incomplete, Thompson spent three days not knowing if he was still in the race. Awkward. Instant runoffs would reduce not only the cost to the city but also to our candidates, and to citizens wondering who won.