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Green Party candidate La Pietra Offers Voting Workshop to Schools

Green Party Candidate for Calhoun County Clerk-Register Makes Announcement at Marshall School Board Meeting

Willing to Work with Administrators, Teachers Countywide o Help Students Learn About Alternative Voting MethodsDraft Materials Available on Website jalpForThePeople.org

John Anthony La Pietra, the Green Party of Michigan (GPMI) candidate for Calhoun County Clerk-Register of Deeds, has offered to help school systems throughout the county show their students alternative voting methods used elsewhere in Michigan, the US, and the world.

John made the offer at Monday’s meeting of the Board of Education in Marshall, where he lives.  But he extended the offer to administrators, and teachers of all school systems in Calhoun County.

“I’ll work with anyone who wants to help students in this county learn about how other people in other places vote,” says John.  He adds that some of those people and places might be surprising.

“What do Ferndale; San Francisco; Cambridge, Massachusetts; and the Utah Republican Party have in common?  IRV . . . instant-runoff voting!”

He gave the Marshall board copies of two documents.  One was a copy of a column he wrote in 2002 comparing various election systems with scoring and decision-making systems familiar to most of us from the world of sports.

The column also refers to two authoritative Websites on the concept of alternative voting systems:

John’s other document was a “Test of Voting Methods” — a one-page handout offering students (or other testers) a chance to try out some of those other methods, including

  • IRV,
  • cumulative voting,
  • limited voting,
  • choice voting, and
  • approval voting,

right alongside the “normal” plurality-winner system.

Some trials of alternative voting methods have used names of famous authors or ice-cream flavors to encourage voters to have strong preferences while avoiding existing partisan feelings.  John’s draft ballot, developed from a 2001 GPMI workshop, lists fanciful food-based names for candidates.

“But I’d be happy to substitute in most- or least-favorite fictional characters, cafeteria meal choices, or just about anything else that might help get students to participate.”

The draft voting-methods handout and the column are both available on line at John’s campaign Website:



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