2009 Burlington mayoral election

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In March 2009, the city of Burlington, Vermont held a mayoral election. Progressive Bob Kiss was elected, despite a 54% majority of voters expressing a preference for Democrat Andy Montroll over Kiss.[1][2][3] As a result of the surprise outcome of the election, Burlington voters narrowly voted to repeal IRV, reverting to their prior system of holding a runoff if no candidate receives over 40% of the vote.

Infographic[edit | edit source]

hashtag "#Visual depiction of IRV results"

To the right is an infographic which attempts to clearly depict the pairwise results in a tidy SVG diagram. Well, actually, it's a scaled down PNG, so it's a little hard to read. If you click it. it'll expand.

Here is a link to the SVG version in a few different forms:

Further analysis[edit | edit source]

Pairwise results[edit | edit source]

This is the results of the Burlington, Vermont mayoral election of 2009.

Pairwise tallies for each of the candidates are available on the following subpages:

Results with Copeland and First-Past-the-Post[edit | edit source]

Below are the theoretical results of using different mechanisms other than IRV.

2009 Burlington mayoral election

  • Election Format Version: 0.1
  • Candidates:
    • Bob Kiss (Progressive)
    • Andy Montroll (Democrat)
    • Dan Smith (Independent)
    • James Simpson (Green)
    • Write-in
    • Kurt Wright (Republican)

Ballots[edit | edit source]

Total votes: 8980

(see 2009 Burlington, Vermont Mayoral Election data for the raw ballots used to generate the results below).

Results[edit | edit source]

Copeland method[edit | edit source]

The winner using the Copeland method is Montroll

Detailed Results[edit | edit source]

In Copeland, the candidate which beats all other candidates in pairwise matchups wins the election. In the event no such candidate exists, the candidate with the best win-loss-tie record wins the election.

Voting results of pairwise matchups:

Bob Kiss (Progressive)

Loss 3477 to 4067 vs. Montroll
Win 3946 to 3577 vs. Smith
Win 5517 to 845 vs. Simpson
Win 6149 to 116 vs. Write-in
Win 4314 to 4064 vs. Wright

Andy Montroll (Democrat)

Win 4067 to 3477 vs. Kiss
Win 4573 to 2998 vs. Smith
Win 6267 to 591 vs. Simpson
Win 6658 to 104 vs. Write-in
Win 4597 to 3668 vs. Wright

Dan Smith (Independent)

Loss 3577 to 3946 vs. Kiss
Loss 2998 to 4573 vs. Montroll
Win 5573 to 721 vs. Simpson
Win 6057 to 117 vs. Write-in
Loss 3793 to 3975 vs. Wright

James Simpson (Green)

Loss 845 to 5517 vs. Kiss
Loss 591 to 6267 vs. Montroll
Loss 721 to 5573 vs. Smith
Win 3338 to 165 vs. Write-in
Loss 1309 to 5274 vs. Wright


Loss 116 to 6149 vs. Kiss
Loss 104 to 6658 vs. Montroll
Loss 117 to 6057 vs. Smith
Loss 165 to 3338 vs. Simpson
Loss 163 to 6063 vs. Wright

Kurt Wright (Republican)

Loss 4064 to 4314 vs. Kiss
Loss 3668 to 4597 vs. Montroll
Win 3975 to 3793 vs. Smith
Win 5274 to 1309 vs. Simpson
Win 6063 to 163 vs. Write-in


  • Montroll: 5-0-0
  • Kiss: 4-1-0
  • Wright: 3-2-0
  • Smith: 2-3-0
  • Simpson: 1-4-0
  • Write-in: 0-5-0

Plurality (a.k.a. First Past the Post)[edit | edit source]

The winner using the Plurality is Wright.

Detailed Results[edit | edit source]

The results below were calculated using Plurality (a.k.a. First Past the Post). When using ballots that allow for ratings, the top rated candidate is chosen. If there is more than one candidate with the highest rating, the ballot is considered invalid and is not counted.


Total Score
Bob Kiss (Progressive) 2585
Andy Montroll (Democrat) 2063
Dan Smith (Independent) 1306
James Simpson (Green) 35
Write-in 36
Kurt Wright (Republican) 2951

Footnotes[edit | edit source]

  1. Gierzynski, Anthony; Hamilton, Wes; Smith, Warren D. (March 2009). "Burlington Vermont 2009 IRV mayoral election". RangeVoting.org. Retrieved 1 October 2017. Montroll was favored over Republican Kurt Wright 56% to 44% ... and over Progressive Bob Kiss 54% to 46% ... In other words, in voting terminology, Montroll was a 'beats-all winner,' also called a 'Condorcet winner' ... However, in the IRV election, Montroll came in third! ... voters preferred Montroll over every other candidate ... Montroll is the most-approved
  2. Ornstein, Joseph T.; Norman, Robert Z. (2014-10-01). "Frequency of monotonicity failure under Instant Runoff Voting: estimates based on a spatial model of elections". Public Choice. 161 (1–2): 1–9. doi:10.1007/s11127-013-0118-2. ISSN 0048-5829. Although the Democrat was the Condorcet winner (a majority of voters preferred him in all two way contests), he received the fewest first-place votes and so was eliminated ... 2009 mayoral election in Burlington, VT, which illustrates the key features of an upward monotonicity failure
  3. Lewyn, Michael (2012). "Two Cheers for Instant Runoff Voting". Phoenix L. Rev. 6: 117. SSRN 2276015. election where Democratic candidate for mayor was Condorcet winner but finished third behind Republican and 'Progressive'