Among the speakers will be local residents State Rep. Keith Fitzgerald and Kindra Muntz of Sarasota Alliance for Fair Elections. Other speakers at the event will include Fred Markham of Space Coast Progressive Alliance and FLIER, covering campaign finance reform, and Michael E. Arth on instant-runoff voting. The event will also have an interactive instant-runoff voting demonstration where audience members will vote and hear the results using the method.
"These topics are highly relevant given the lack of competition, pluralism, and representation in Florida's money driven two-party system," said Yury Konnikov, a co-organizer of FLIER, who will be speaking on ballot access, parties, and primaries. "This year 36 of 120 State House seats and 7 of 23 State Senate seats will be won unopposed and yet," says Konnikov, "this is considered one of the most competitive elections." FLIER's published policy pamphlet, "Resuscitating Democracy: Competition, Pluralism, and Representation in Florida", states that the current system deters average people from being able to participate in politics, stifles competition, and sets up policy filters that block solutions from being heard or debated simply because they are not beneficial to the moneyed interests who fund all of Florida's decision makers. "Reforming the current system requires a comprehensive series of reforms covering various areas of the electoral system and we'll be making a case for that in Sarasota," explains Konnikov. Sarasota is ahead of the curve among Florida's localities having adopted instant-runoff voting in a 2007 referendum. Instant-runoff voting, also referred to as ranked choice voting, is a reform FLIER wholeheartedly endorses.
The event will take place from 1:00 pm until 3:30 pm in Room JGA.
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The Florida Initiative for Electoral Reform is a non-partisan coalition of groups and individuals recognizing the need for electoral reforms to enrich and expand democracy in our state and its localities. In addition to advocacy, we seek to provide education on electoral reform and the policy solutions necessary to realize it. We are working towards a vibrant democracy with accessibility for the average person, a competitive political environment, and pluralism in policy and decision making. For more information please visit http://www.floridaelectoralreform.org or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org