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Instant runoff voting proposed for Washington State

The Olympian reports: Another alternative to Washington's election system was unveiled Saturday by activists hoping to encourage more voter participation and ensure that winners truly garner a majority to get elected.

Backers of Initiative 318, which would install instant runoff elections in Washington, will be trying to gather enough signatures by December to present the measure to the state Legislature.

Instant runoff voting sends two candidates to a second round if at least one doesn't grab a 50 percent majority. It allows voters to rank their choices instead of just selecting one person, so that the losing candidates' votes can be dispersed according to how voters ranked their second and third choices.

It's designed to eliminate situations where a candidate wins the election even if he or she receives less than 50 percent of the vote. It would also allow voters to "vote their heart" for third-party candidates without "spoiling" elections, supporters say. -- Group unveils I-318 for instant runoff elections (The Olympian)