AP NEWS

Tennessee bill would allow some local instant runoff voting

April 3, 2019

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A proposal to let Tennessee’s four biggest cities decide whether to allow instant runoff voting in local nonpartisan contests is advancing.

A House panel approved Republican Rep. Michael Curcio’s bill Wednesday, with a yet-to-be-completed amendment pending.

Curcio said larger cities requested the bill, which is intended to be limited to Nashville, Memphis, Knoxville and Chattanooga. Implementation would require local charter amendments.

Instant runoff voting lets voters rank choices, avoiding runoffs when no candidate tops 50 percent.

Memphis voters in 2008 approved it for city elections and rejected a November referendum repeal attempt.

Shelby County Elections Administrator Linda Phillips had planned for instant runoff voting in 2019 municipal elections.

In February, Tennessee Elections Coordinator Mark Goins concluded state law doesn’t allow ranked-choice voting. Shelby’s election commission voted against appealing Goins’ decision.