Voters Say Yes to Instant Runoff Voting… No To Extending Memphis Term Limits

Local News

You’ve seen the signs, “Vote No?” 
Obviously, you read them, because that’s what you did.

You voted no to letting Memphis City Council members serve 12 straight years as opposed to eight.
You voted no to doing away with instant runoff voting, or ranked-choice voting.
You’ll get the hang of IRV says supporter Steve Mulroy of the University of Memphis Law School. 

“I think a voter education campaign is called for,” he says, “… and that’s what has happened in other jurisdictions. The election commission is already planning on a voter education campaign, and we stand ready to assist.”

This was an emotional, sometimes angry campaign.
A few weeks ago, at the end of a Memphis City Council meeting, Mulroy got into a heated conversation with Chairman Berlin Boyd.
Mulroy now says, hey, forget about it… shake hands… put her there pal.

“I have nothing personal against the city council member,” Mulroy says, “…. but as a body, they wrote misleading ballot language and stuck to it.”

Maybe that’s how he feels, but there are plenty of council members who aren’t planning on exchanging Christmas Cards with Mulroy this year.
We spoke with Chairman Berlin Boyd on the phone, as he is attending a conference in Los Angeles.
Boyd, who says they are waiting to see how an advertising agency spent $40,000 taxpayer dollars to promote voting against instant runoff voting, and vote in favor of extending term limits.

As it stands now, six Memphis Council seats will be open next October because of term limits.
The fight is over, for now.
But the Tennessee Election Commission must still rule whether instant runoffs are legal in Tennessee.

“We are going to have that resolved between now and October 2019,” according to Mulroy. “I think this is a matter for courts and lawyers to figure out. We’ll get it figured out and will be able implement IRV elections quite smoothly.”

Boyd released a statement Wednesday evening, saying, “Unfortunately, a lot of outside money was involved in this campaign and City government struggled to scramble at the last minute to compete. There remains significant misinformation about IRV implementation, and soon enough, Memphians will see and feel the local impact.”

Statement  from Save IRV, Inc. 

Memphis, TN November 7, 2018 – Save IRV, Inc. is not surprised that Chairman Boyd continues his parade of misinformation and rejects his statement on the 2018 City referendum results. Memphis voters should not trust anything councilman Boyd says about any election that is not verified by Shelby County Election Commission administrator Linda Phillips. He has continuously misled the public about the poorly worded referendums.

Save IRV, Inc. can take very little credit for the results of the 2018 City referendums. The City Council deserves most of the credit by creating poorly worded referendums designed to undermine the will of the people and then spending taxpayer money 2 weeks before the election to misinform the public through a one-sided propaganda campaign.  Voters saw directly through the City Council’s self-serving referendums.

The City Council deserves the credit for its own colossal failure.

Carlos Ochoa

Media Coordinator

©TEGNA Inc. 2019. All Rights Reserved.

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